Screenshot from ABC Tampa Bay

Open Letter to Bette Midler and Other Tone-Deaf White Women

Dear Bette and other tone-deaf white women,

On Thursday, you tweeted what you thought was something meant to champion women globally. You were wrong. Yes, we know you quoted John Lennon. He was wrong too.

You are known for speaking your mind and that’s great. But there are times, especially given this tumultuous racial climate, where your words should be measured, and thought should be given to everything BEFORE you say it. This will prevent from you having to walk back from the asinine comments you made that formulated in your privileged, delusional mind.

Now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way, let’s get to business.

“Women are the n-word of the world.”

We all know that women and girls are at the bottom of the rung on the ladder of life. Femicide, rape, abuse is at a relatively all-time high. That should be acknowledged.


Screenshot from Twitter

If you would have left it there, we would be good. However, you didn’t and now we are here. The issue with these words coming from you, specifically, is white women have also been complicit in the enslavement, denial of education and inheritance, abuse and murder of women of color for centuries.

White women watched Black babies starve as Black mothers were forced to feed your own babies. White women, during apartheid, didn’t have one iota of regard for the Black women who were allowed to see their families for two weeks out of a year because your needs were more important. God forbid you actually had to take care of your own household. White women’s cruelty to the other women was especially vicious.

White women sat back as white men took land and riches from Native Americans claiming it as their own. And when Native Americans fought for what was rightfully theirs, white women “fought back.”

History books, unfortunately, don’t teach actual history so I will try to believe you weren’t being obtuse. Operative word here is — try. However, when your tweet didn’t elicit the response you hoped to garner, you served up a big plate of self-righteousness.

Your staunch opposition to what was being spelled out to you by other women wreaked of entitlement and privilege. Women of color have rallied behind Christine Blasey Ford and other white women who’ve come forward to confront their abusers despite the fact we’ve not faced our own.

Of course, YOU wouldn’t see race. Many times, white women never do, and herein lies the problem. Women of color are subjected to your passive-aggressive behavior and microaggressions on a daily damn basis.

Your unaccountability for actions like this will always make it difficult for other women to trust that white women really want to help because in the end — it really is just all about you.

Sometimes, the best way to be an ally is to just shut your mouth and listen. Yes, shut up. You may actually learn something.

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