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Pedro Rodriguez.
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The Epperson House is closed to visitors, but can be seen from the distance around campus.
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Aurora Wilson, Lifestyle and Culture Editor • October 31, 2023

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Dr. Villamandos and Dr. Grieco in front of Sancho Panza in the Twentieth Century
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Tayler and the cast sit as they prepare for more filming.
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Lydia Schneider, Staff Writer • October 20, 2023

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Abigail Weiler holds her business card.
Clayful by Abbie
Gracey Saavedra, Staff Writer • October 18, 2023

 Abigail Weiler, fourth-year political science and French major at UMKC, delivers confidence in the form of handmade polymer clay jewelry.    Her...

Dear white women, our kindness is worthless

Stacey Abrams, the democractic candidate for the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, was a crucial help in getting out the vote for Biden-Harris in her home state. (Politico)

On Saturday, Nov. 7, an arduous election cycle came to an end, resulting in President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. In the time since polls closed on Tuesday, voters were on edge, commiserating on Twitter about vote counts. On Friday, Nov. 6, President-elect Biden crept ahead in the polls in Pennsylvania and Georgia, two states with heavy amounts of mail-in ballots. 

According to the New York Times 2020 Exit Polls, 55% of white women voted for Trump. These are the same women who I saw posting about how the election was “in God’s hands,” and that we should all “be kind, no matter who wins.” However, the blatant disregard for the United States’ non-white citizens that a vote for Trump indicates does not allow for disagreements. The kindness offered by white women means nothing, just as the notorious black square, a social media response to George Floyd’s death, was nothing but performance. The bottom line is, there is a problem in white communities, and us white women are not carrying our weight. 

In her article “Black women saved the Democrats. Don’t make us do it again,”

for the Washington Post, writer Taylor Crumpton wrote, “From the 2016 presidential election to the Senate special election in Alabama in 2017 and the 2018 midterm elections, more than 90 percent of Black women voted for the Democratic candidate, and that’s not even to mention all the work they did for voter registration and turnout.” According to the same exit poll which lists 55% of white women voting for the Democratic candidate, 91% of Black women voted for the Biden-Harris ticket this year, an action that may ultimately benefit white women most in the long run.

Black women such as 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams are credited with getting out the vote in some of the most contended states in the 2020 election. Even in defeat, Abrams took the reins in motivating Black Georgia voters for the Biden-Harris campaign. For Black women, these races are a matter of life and death.

If you can’t think of any white women being commended for a similar action, it’s because white women hold enough privilege that either way the race went, we would ostensibly be fine. However, with Judge Amy Coney Barrett newly appointed to the Supreme Court, every woman’s rights in the United States were thrown into uncertainty. Black women saved us by removing Trump from office, but we, as white women, can never bring ourselves to do anything besides perform empathy for our Black sisters who are, and have been, regularly put in danger by the United States’ government since the formation of America. 

There’s really no excuse for this kind of behavior. When it comes down to people’s rights, kindness means nothing and action means everything. Whether or not we voted for Trump, at this point, is no matter; we need to do as much to mobilize our communities as Black women are doing. We cannot let our privilege blind us to the severity of the fight. 

I am now going to list some ways we, as white women, can begin to take on our share of the fight for everyone to have the same rights and quality of life in the United States of America. I want to make it clear that I am getting these ideas from Black authors and activists like Akilah Hughes, Blair Imani, and Rachel Cargle, among others. As white women, we must take our cues from Black women without asking them to carry our burden.

We must have hard conversations with the people in our lives. We cannot let our friends and family get away with racism. We must call them out when they are wrong. We must not forgive them for things that do not directly affect us. That is not our job.

We must mobilize volunteers for important elections, even at local and state levels. These elections can result in outcomes that directly threaten our Black communities. This means doing more than just voting, but organizing volunteers.

We must support Black businesses and Black creators all year long, celebrating Black life regardless of current events. 

We must acknowledge our privilege, uncenter ourselves and listen instead of becoming defensive when Black women tell us we are hurting them. I recommend you start this process with a guided course like Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. It will make you uncomfortable, but we need to be okay with being uncomfortable. That’s what giving up privilege means.

We white women must not be complacent under a Biden-Harris presidency that caters to our needs as white people. We must hold our new leaders accountable for their actions and policies, and we must do this without ourselves in mind.

This list is by no means definitive, but it’s much more effective than kindness. White women, we owe it to hard working Black women to ease their burden, to make their fight worth it. We must start carrying our weight.

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  • D

    Doug NuggerDec 15, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Gosh I can’t imagine why people don’t want to subscribe to your beliefs, it truly is a mystery

  • A

    AlexDec 15, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Wow this is really disgusting.
    You can file a complaint against Kayla Wiltfong with UMKC’s Office of Affirmative Action for this targeted racial hatred, as it explicitly violates the university’s Code of Conduct.
    “Reports may include conduct that discriminates, stereotypes, excludes, intimidates, mocks, degrades, threatens, harasses, or harms anyone in our University community based on actual or perceived age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, religion, citizenship, genetic information, pregnancy status, marital status, veteran or military status, or any combination of these factors.”
    UMKC Office of Affirmative Action tip line: (816) 235-61771

  • J

    Joseph PooleNov 14, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    White women are simply not buying into your “intersectional” and “woke” nonsense. They want a government that is free of preachy and judgey people like you. They want a government that recognizes their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Democrats are against this type of government, and a substantial portion of citizens (of all races, creeds and colors) know this, and therefore, vote for the other party.

    • N

      NiamhDec 1, 2020 at 8:59 am

      No one likes a victim mentality

  • K

    KateNov 13, 2020 at 9:48 am

    From David Shor, a veteran of the 2012 Obama campaign and the Democratic consultancy Civis Analytics:

    “If you look at county-level returns in Georgia, it’s pretty clear that nonwhite voters, as a share of the electorate, decreased at a time when the nonwhite share of the state’s population probably increased. Relative to the electorate as a whole, nonwhite turnout fell. And then, among nonwhite voters who turned out, support for the Democratic nominee fell. That’s just not consistent with nonwhite turnout being the decisive factor. The only reason we won is that there were these very large swings toward us among college-educated white people in the Atlanta suburbs.”