Click here to go to the Home Page Trust Black Women Support Reproductive Justice for All Women - A View from the Battlefield - By Jamala Rogers - Editorial Board

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Billboards criminalizing black women started popping up in cities like New York and Atlanta. A few weeks ago, one of those billboards caught the eye of some politically conscious women in St. Louis, MO. BC Question: What will it take to bring Obama home?A precious little brown face with big almond eyes is the first to catch your attention. Your eyes then move to the text – and the real point of the billboard. It reads: “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”

The “Black Genocide” billboard campaign is the insidious work of a racist, right-wing coalition created and financed by the likes of the Radiance Foundation, Heroic Media and LifeAlways. They are also part of the same despicable forces that attack President Obama as being a Muslim and non-citizen. Yet they also have a billboard with an image of the president claiming, “Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.”

Their ranks are often led by white men, but with the Genocide campaign, they have managed to get a few black men to carry their water. This campaign will resonate with some nationalist brothers (and sisters) who have asserted that birth control and abortion are forms of genocide. Look for some of those faces and voices to be used in the campaign.

These people could care less about a black president, let alone black women and their children. These are the same folks who have given the living black folks hell by advocating the removal of safety nets for poor and working-class people. They are on record as opposing access to basic contraceptive services, not just abortions.

Despite their claims of being pro-life, most of these people champion the death penalty. These conservatives have no problem starving public education or pushing black and brown into segregated housing. Show me one place where they have not done all they could to diminish the quality of life for people of African descent.

The rightist forces have generally criminalized black people of all ages and backgrounds from the womb to the tomb for the purpose of advancing their racist social policies. This has been done with lies and distortions throughout the years.

Trust Black Women (TBW) has been organized to not just expose and denounce this offensive campaign, but to assert that women have the right to make personal and private decisions about childbearing with whomever they choose. TBW is led by black women, but includes all shades and genders because it’s crystal clear that the agenda is to take human and civil rights away from women and people of color. Remember the refrain, “We want our country back!” is a longing for the times when black people were slaves and white women had no rights.

The last time I looked, the right to have an abortion was still law and protected by the Constitution. Lawless people are rabid about this issue and have resorted to intimidation and even murder of doctors who legitimately perform abortions. They have embarked upon a strategy to erode abortion rights until there is a skeletal law or there are no doctors willing to perform abortions. These folks talk respect for about law and order until it’s an issue they don’t agree with it; then you see their lawlessness in action.

Because conservatives often hijack language, most people believe that pro-choice means that you are pro-abortion. Not so. The Pro-Choice movement also includes those who are fundamentally opposed to abortion but who uphold the law and who recognize the rights of women to ultimately choose what’s in their best interests.

The Genocide campaign is not about abortion; it is an attempt to criminalize black women and cause division and distraction in our communities. We won’t stand for it. Wherever the campaign has raised its ugly head, black women and their allies have organized to get the billboards down – one way or another. More importantly, it’s a teachable moment about the need to support reproductive justice and health services for women. It is also a time to talk about how to improve the conditions of those who are living – right now. Editorial Board member, Jamala Rogers, is the leader of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis and the Black Radical Congress National Organizer. Click here to contact Ms. Rogers.

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May 12, 2011 - Issue 426
is published every Thursday
Est. April 5, 2002
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble
BC Question: What will it take to bring Obama home?
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