Wednesday, January 13, 2016

#BlackLivesMatter: Open Letter to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley #SOTU

Gov. Haley,

I couldn't help but to notice that during your vitriolic Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight that you decided to disrespect a movement, the Black Lives Matter movement. Our movement, just so you know, at the most basic level fights against police brutality and racial discrimination. So, to my dismay you had this to say:

Your statements come from a place of White privilege and fear of people who you have demonized. When you make statements like “chaotic unrest in many of our cities," as an indicator that you see young Black and Brown folk standing up against police violence on our bodies as a danger, you are the true danger. What was even more disrespectful? You decide to evoke the tragedy in Charleston by stating that “What happened after the tragedy is worth pausing to think about,” and that “Our state was struck with shock, pain, and fear. But our people would not allow hate to win. We didn’t have violence, we had vigils. We didn’t have riots, we had hugs.” Let's get one thing straight White lady (that is clearly who you think you are, are you kin to Bobby Jindal?) you didn't pause (only when you could gain politically), you may have been shocked, but I have it on high authority that you didn't and don't fear for your life with all that White privilege that helps you to survive. I am not sure you fit into the category of being shocked or in pain either, yeah hugs were cute but your record on the matter aint.

According to sources like Think Progress YOU only gave consideration to removing the confederate flag and other actions for (as stated earlier) political gain and theatrics. Here is what they had to say about the issue:

"... she “has created this public television persona that completely contradicts her governance.

Last June, five days after Dylann Roof murdered nine African American worshipers in Charleston, Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag that — by law — flew on State House grounds. It was hailed by some as a “profile in courage.”

But just months before, during her 2014 reelection campaign, she dismissed calls from her opponent, state Sen. Sheheen, to remove the flag. “What I can tell you is over the last three-and-a-half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state,” she said during an October debate. “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”

Haley suggested that the state’s historical image as a racist place was over, arguing South Carolina “really kind of fixed all that” by electing her, “the first Indian-American female governor,” and through her appointment of Tim Scott (R), an African American, to a vacant Senate seat.

And even in the immediate aftermath of the Charleston shootings, Haley’s initial response did not advocate removing the flag from the State House grounds. Two days after the shooting, she told CBS anchor Gayle King that while the “conversation” about the flag would “probably come back up again,” it was too early “to start having policy conversations with the people of South Carolina.”

“I understand that’s what y’all want,” she scolded, “[but] my job is to heal the people of this state.” Only after a groundswell of national outrage over the flag did she change her tune in the days that followed.

I say this with disdain and total disregard for respect when it comes to you Governor, you are full of crap and we see through you. Since you will never know what it is like to be Black in America let me help you out...The movement for Black lives is about deconstructing and dismantling a system of racism and White supremacy. We start with the police violence on Blackness, and work into other areas that have been very problematic in terms of criminalizing Blackness, perpetuating misogyny, limiting access to quality education, financial stability, access to proper health care and a host of other issues. IF we had an equal playing field and there was no White privilege to be concerned with, we would not have to have peaceful demonstrations or loudly raise our voices to be heard! We, the Black people get a bad rap because society is socialized to see Blackness as impure, bad & putrid; that's what your statement tonight insinuated.

You gets no love...

Ashton P. Woods