"It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That's on all of us." Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards urges white women to "do better" in fight for equality at the Women's March rally in Las Vegas https://t.co/xlkDZxF2Qt pic.twitter.com/E6T7qmaLiu— CNN (@CNN) January 22, 2018
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, has some advice for white women: step up and participate towards “saving the country from itself.”
In an impassioned speech at the Women’s March #PowertothePolls rally in Las Vegas, Richards implored white women to “do better” after highlighting many of the political achievements by women of color.
Richards first acknowledged the 2017 Women’s March for awakening the “doctors and teachers and mothers” across the country to fight for gender and racial equality. The recent spike of racism in the United States, including President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, as well as the accountability of sexual predators in Hollywood, Congress and other workplaces, have inspired women to unite against the deeply-ingrained sexism and misogyny in the society and fight for justice.
But Richards believe much of the burden of that fight has fallen on to the shoulders of women of color.
“And from Virginia to Alabama and to last week in Wisconsin, women have beaten the odds to elect our own to office. ... Women of color, transgender women, rural and urban women…These victories were led and made possible by women of color,” Richards said.
What she said is irrefutable. There is an undeniable tradition of white women coming to the aid of sexist, racist political candidates and the recent facts prove it is so. Around 53 percent of white, educated women voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
More recently, an appalling 63 percent of white women in Alabama voted for accused sexual predator and child molester Roy Moore. Fortunately, Moore was defeated and Doug Jones became the first Democratic senator of the state in a quarter of a century. However, even this victory was chiefly attributed to the black voters, 96 percent of whom rose up and came in support of Jones — and 98 percent of whom were women.
However, it should also be noted Richards, who herself is white, did not detail any strategies to motivate white women into action. While it is a good thing Richards recognizes the problem, just praising women of color won’t solve the problem — the onus now falls on white women to take concrete steps to fix it.
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS, Gary Cameron