Black women are tired! Tired of presidential candidates “not talking about” what they want to hear at debates and rallies, tired of these same candidates only coming to their communities when it is time to vote, and tired of the value of Black women voters being glossed over.
According to ABC News, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s speech was disrupted by members of the Powerful Parent Network – an organization that is pro-charter schools and goes against Sen. Warren’s proposed plan to ban for-profit charter schools and end federal programs that allocate money to non-profit charters, and other protesters who just “want to be heard.” While Rep. Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman elected to Congress who introduced Sen. Warren at the Atlanta rally, made it clear that the protesters were not being silenced, some still chose to make their way to the exit.
Sen. Warren kicked things off in Atlanta by laying out her plan to Black voters. She started by acknowledging her white privilege and making accountability-related promises. “As a white woman, I will never fully understand the discrimination, pain and harm that black Americans have experienced just because of the color of their skin. I’m here to make a commitment: When I am president of the United States, the lessons of black history will not be lost. Those lessons will live in every part of my presidency — and I will ask you to hold me accountable for that promise every single day,” she told the crowd, who gathered to hear her speak at Clark Atlanta University.
Things took a turn when Sen. Warren addressed the crowd and placed an emphasis on Black women. “The fighters I want to talk about tonight are black women,” she said at the rally. Sen. Warren also said, “Black women – then and now – are no strangers to facing resistance when they fight for justice, and black women — then and now — don’t give up easy.” Moments into her speech, however, Sen. Warren was met with push-back from members of the Powerful Parent Network.
Sarah Carpenter, who is the leader of the organization, spoke with reporters after leaving the speech because she apparently had heard enough. A common theme in both Sen. Warren’s speech and Carpenter’s response, however, is the significance of Black women at the polls. “Black women — where I come from — we may be poor. But we vote every election,” Carpenter said.
These sentiments were echoed by other members of the Atlanta community who attended Sen. Warren’s rally. According to ABC News, retired school teacher Deborah Mossett said of the Democratic candidates running for the 2020 nomination, “None of them can win without the black vote, especially black women.”
ABC News also reports that Alexandrea Moore, a student at Savannah State University, was not entirely convinced by Sen. Warren’s speech either. “She could really be for us. But there are plenty of examples of wolves in sheep’s clothing and it’s sneaky-scary sometimes. We don’t know whether to trust or not,” Moore said.
There was more to be said from Carpenter when she spoke with reporters in a video that has since gone viral. She also addressed her frustration with presidential candidates’ tactics to earn the Black vote. “Come before it’s time to vote, so you can see the plight in our community. So you can see school’s that’s almost about to fall on out their facilities. Come to us before then,” she said. “Don’t make decisions then bring me to the table because I’m not coming. ‘Cause I can build my own table and I know how to cook a little bit.”
The bottom line is, black folks want to be heard in real life, not in theory or unpromising proposed presidential plans.