Antonia Okafor, a young, single, black woman, recently discovered that she's a racist, sexist, misogynist. How in the world did this happen? None other than Antonia Okafor explains.
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I recently discovered something startling about myself. It turns out that I’m a racist, sexist, misogynist. This came as quite a shock to me. How did this happen? As a person of color, a single woman with a graduate degree who grew up poor in a home without a father, I had a clear political path to follow.
And I followed it.
I voted for Barack Obama…twice. After all, we share the same skin color. His father was from Africa. Mine was, too! What other reasons did I need?
I was inspired to see a black man rise to the highest office in the land. I believed his ascent would herald a new beginning, a new era of racial healing and harmony. We would finally have that frank discussion about race that everyone always talks about.
I was also inspired by his wife. I was thrilled to see such a strong, opinionated black woman take the national stage. But then something happened… actually, several somethings.
I realized there was a big contradiction in my own life. I considered myself a free-thinker, but I was thinking exactly what I was supposed to. I decided to start asking questions. I belonged to several campus feminist groups. I was even teaching feminism to inner-city girls. Part of that teaching involved making the case for abortion. These girls needed to know that they had the right to make decisions about their own bodies. Surely, I thought, that’s empowerment. But one day I asked myself: Isn’t it men who benefit most from consequence-free sex? Doesn’t that give them even more power over women? And, of course, abortion certainly doesn’t empower the women it prevents from ever being born.
When I began to ask my other feminist friends how they reconciled these issues, they just got angry. I was called anti-woman. Even by progressive men! “But I’m not anti-woman,” I thought. “I am a woman!” I just don’t want to be a weak one. I want to be strong – like Michelle.
At about the same time, while I was a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, the UT Austin Department of African Diaspora Studies released a statement in which they said, and I quote, “African Americans are disproportionately affected by the saturation of our society by firearms … We demand that firearms be banned in all spaces occupied by black people on our campus.”
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