It’s ingrained in our upbringing — this sensitivity to the feelings and emotions of white women. As BIPOC we, despite our best efforts, occasionally fall victim to that misheld belief that white women are more sensitive and fragile. Even worse, we sometimes try to rationalize our actions and behaviors so that we don’t have to reflect on the fact that we are furthering this belief that white women must be coddled. Or, we sacrifice a BIPOC to protect or “shield” a white woman.
Poor Chelsea Clinton?
While attending a vigil for the victims of the horrific murders at Christchurch, Chelsea Clinton was approached by Leen Dweik, a Muslim NYU student who wanted to confront her about some tweets Chelsea Clinton had made regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar, a fellow Muslim. She then stated that she felt that Chelsea’s tweets were directly responsible for the attacks.
Whether that hefty blame can be attributed to Chelse Clinton is debatable. But let’s be clear about what isn’t.
Unless there is another video, there was no violence or the threat of violence coming from Leen Dweik.
Nevertheless, people on all sides took to twitter to call out Leen’s violent behavior — crying that Chelsea Clinton was “cornered” and “in danger” from this woman “screaming at her”.
For those claiming this, maybe google some videos of what yelling and screaming look like. Leen was speaking forcefully, because of how she felt but she was not yelling or screaming. To claim that is to play on the “angry Black woman” or “angry woman of color” stereotype as well as the “fragile white woman” to garner sympathy for the latter and increased anger and hatred for the former.
Leen’s arms were moving wildly? If you’ve every talked with people from certain communities you would know many of us wave our arms around to emphasize our points. It is not a precursor to a violent outburst.
Why The Histrionics?
There are several reasons why this blew up and became a much bigger deal than it was so let’s list some possible motives, in addition to the aforementioned “protect poor white women at all costs”.
Centering a White Woman/But She’s Pregnant!
The focus quickly moved from the tragic shootings at Christchurch to how dare this Muslim girl approach a white woman. The fact that Chelsea Clinton is also noticeably pregnant, gave people added ammunition to crucify Leen Dweik which is a ridiculous since all Leen did was state what she felt. Nevertheless, a slew of white people used this as the excuse to attack a Muslim woman.
We’ve often told white people that they have no right to tell us our feelings are invalid because they do not have our experiences — the same goes here. Telling Leen Dweik that “wasn’t the time” is essentially telling her to wait for a moment that you feel is acceptable to convey her feelings.
She didn’t yell or threaten Chelsea in any way. So what’s the issue? Chelsea needs to be protected from what? Words? Words said by someone in pain? Someone who is tired of anti-Muslim rhetoric? Someone who is tired of tepid responses to posters depicting Rep. Ilhan Omar with the 9–11 attacks?
It’s certain that, given Chelsea Clinton’s years and all she has faced previously, this is hardly new territory for her.
The focus is on Chelsea, a white woman, rather than the real anti-Muslim threat or proper gun control legislation that would actually take guns out of the wrong hands, both of which are more important than a white woman’s “fragility”.
Hillary Stans/Bernie Haters
Being a stan of any person is never a good thing. The term is based off of Eminem’s rap song about a psychotic fan named Stan. Let’s put it this way. Trump has stans — people who are “patriotic” one moment, then hold signs saying they would rather Russia take over the next. And it’s all because they love Trump.
Hillary stans (any stan honestly) are just as bad. If you say anything about Hillary, they will come for you viciously online or write you off as worthless.
There is nothing wrong with pointing out the positives/negatives of an individual and there should not be an exception to this rule.
Bernie has some stans as well, and they hate Hillary stans. The reverse is also true. Both Hilary and Bernie stans love to try and prove how violent and disgusting the other group is and this plays a part in why some people exaggerated the video.
Leen Dweik is wearing a shirt in the video that has Bernie’s ideals on it along with his name. So many Hillary stans went online to flame a Muslim woman not because she did anything wrong, but because it was an opportunity to tie it back to Bernie. So you attacked a woman of color so that you could attack a white man. There were so many using it as a “See how crazy Bernie’s followers are!” moment.
There was no violently crazy rant. Nor was Leen screaming at Chelsea but far too many of you are claiming to see something that was not there. The only reason is you are seeing it through glasses tinted with your hate for Bernie and your love for Hillary.
Stop Aiding White Supremacy
Either way you look at it, especially if you are a person of color, you are skewing the facts of what transpired in that video to shelter a grown white woman who doesn’t need your protection. You are aiding those stereotypes you often yell at white people for using and you are doing it all in service of a white woman and to attack a white man. And, if you read this, you are now doing it with your eyes open.
Watch that video and think about what you are saying transpired. We need to understand our own behaviors if we are going to positively change and effect positive change around us. We can’t yell at white people to stop using racist stereotype and then use it when it’s convenient for us to further a warped agenda that still ends with white people.
You don’t have to agree with Leen. I’m not sure I do. You don’t have to like Leen. Past tweets don’t make her palatable to me either. But don’t attack a young Muslim woman of color over something you are exaggerating just to take shots at a presidential candidate you don’t like.
It’s not worth it. And when you do, you are being a hypocrite and setting us back in our fight for equality for Black, Indigenous, women of color. We need to do better.