Recently, I was made aware of a backstage interview that occurred in my home state of New Hampshire between Hilary Clinton and the heads of the #BlackLivesMatter Boston, MA chapter; Daunacia Yancey and Julius Jones. When I breathed into pressing play, I had what I now realize to be overly hopeful expectations of what I might find. Sadly, it took exactly 26 seconds into the video – exactly 2 seconds after Julius finished eloquently speaking and Hilary started, to be precise. When asking myself why I had these expectations from anyone in the political arena, I knew innately that it was because Hilary is a womyn. However, what I quickly learned is that Hilary is actually a woman (spelled with the original root). Although she shares a similar sex and gender identity to mine; she has become encapsulated in the male-dominated field and to use one of my own favorite phrases, “she has swallowed the Patriarchy and is now spitting it back out on us.” There is a tender spot in my heart for all humyns born with vaginas, it’s true, because I understand the utter brutality we face from the moment we are born for every day of our lives as we face the reality of our need to reclaim our whole-bodied selves. With that being said, watching Hilary’s style of conversation, nothing is coming more strongly to mind than the very real concept of “White Feminism” (some might just say “Feminism” – vs. “Intersectional Feminism, for example). To clarify, it reminds me of a brand of Feminism that whitewashed to really only apply to womyn of that skin color and are not representative or inclusive of diversity on any level. So basically just to break it down for you that much more: in my opinion, Hilary is trying to sell something that she doesn’t actually believe in. And, although I am including a video in this article, which even if muted would depict the entire truth occurring just by body language, I will also be breaking down some of Hilary’s words and further examining them.
*The exact video clip that I am directly commenting on in this article, comes from the CNN Facebook page: here, which shows Daunacia Yancey and Julius Jones on the Wolf Blitzer show after this experience.*
*Before I begin discussing the actual words exchanged, I would be absolutely remiss in not addressing firstly the body language in this video. Part of my training as a Somatic Psychotherapist is to observe the way people move through space and interact with others on a purely bodily (and eventually emotional) level. With that being said, I also don’t think it takes my Master’s Degree to see that Hilary is extremely aggressive utilizing her hands frequently and often making intense pointing motions. Her moments of defensiveness are also very visible throughout the clip both through her body language, and also the tone she chooses to use throughout is very aggressive and condescending – often heightening at a point when Julius seems to have struck a nerve (or dare I say a heartstring), and frequently cutting him off when he is speaking. Julius on the other hand has an extremely receptive (yet rightfully protective at times) stance and relatively open posture that matches his very calm demeanor and soothing, calm tone of voice he chose to use (perhaps intentionally, akin to what I call my “therapist’s tone”). *
The first question on the version of the clip I watched, which I saw Julius pose to Hilary was: “What in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of this country?…How do you, not your platform, not what you’re supposed to say, but how do you actually feel that’s different than you did before?…What were the mistakes you made and how can those mistakes that you made be lessons for all of America?”
Personally, the question itself, and the way in which it was spoken so honestly and vulnerably by Julius felt extremely honoring and representative of the #BlackLivesMatter movement as a whole (despite anything negative mainstream media may have to lie…I mean say). Hilary’s response unfortunately, also seemed to reflect another “movement as a whole”: the political agenda. Her first response to this question? The following:
“There has to be a reckoning, I agree with that, but there has to be a positive vision and plan.”
Firstly, I never heard Julius say there needed to be a “reckoning.” I did hear him ask very pointed and important questions that he wanted answered though. I find the term reckoning itself to be a perfect example of the type of white agenda Hilary seems to actually support. Reckoning? Reckoning? Who says “reckoning” I can’t stop wondering, because to me it feels like this white woman isn’t even speaking the same language as the activists. When I looked up the term “reckoning,” I felt it was important to share the euro-centric statistics with you, as shown below:
(images sourced from screenshot from google.com)
*Just so we are crystal clear, I also study epigenetics, or how our genes subsequently affect our “Psychology,” and I find it important to note that the term “reckoning” seems to have occurred most frequently during the time of slavery in this country, and I wonder how in this very moment both parties are subconsciously or perhaps consciously affected by this truth (and the fact that language is a main structure of society)*
(image: Black Lives Matter, Boston Facebook)
Hilary also chose to use the following euphamized (yes I’m officially creating this term) terminology instead of the truth called slavery: “This country is still not recovered from it’s Original Sin.“ For those of you who didn’t endure 10 years of Catholic school, Original Sin is the following:
(image: screenshot from google.com)
NEWSFLASH: Original Sin is something you’re born with, hatred of or ignorance about Black humyns is something you learn. (And clearly there is no such thing separation of church and state either).
Hilary then goes on to make a statement that quickly turns from validating to completely dismissive and ignorant:
“YOU’RE ANALYSIS IS TOTALLY FAIR. IT’S HISTORICALLY FAIR. IT’S PSYCHOLOGICALLY FAIR. IT’S ECONOMICALLY FAIR…BUT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME TOGETHER AS A MOVEMENT AND SAY THIS IS WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.”
REWIND. #BLACKLIVESMATTER IS LITERALLY A MOVEMENT THAT HAS BANDED TOGETHER TO FOSTER AUTHENTIC AWARENESS AND NECESSARY CHANGE – THEY HAVE BECOME SO RESPECTED AND VISIBLE EVEN IN THE WHITE POLITICAL WORLD THAT THEY ARE NOW TALKING ABOUT IT ON CNN AFTER HAVING BEEN ABLE TO SPEAK DIRECTLY AND HONESTLY WITH YOU HILARY!
Back to Julius’ much more poignant words: “There’s not much that we can do to stop the violence against us…What you’ve said is a form of victim blaming; ‘what the #BlackLivesMatter movement has to do is change white hearts.'”
However, because Julius started speaking to much truth, he was aggressively cut-off with the following statement by Hilary:
“I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocations of resources, you change the way systems operate…you’re not gonna change every heart; you’re not…”
Clearly, in this quick example, Hilary proves the very harsh point she herself has just made about the inability to change all white hearts. She does say that you can change some, though with her very own super patriarchal help snapshotted quickly in this handy quote below:
“[they deserve] TO HAVE A DECENT SCHOOL. A DECENT HOUSE. A DECENT FUTURE.”
I know I speak for my entire WYV team when I say, SCREW DECENT! BLACK LIVES MATTERING MEANS BLACK HUMYNS DESERVE TO HAVE A GREAT EDUCATION (or at least as great as their American peers) and A BEAUTIFUL FUTURE filled with hopes, possibilities, and dreams that become a reality because they weren’t being intentionally set-up to fail or at the very least left with no resources, support, or true social justice.
It’s time to connect your head to your heart Hilary, and hold yourself and others in positions of power accountable for true social justice.