Pennsylvania Democrat Summer Lee won her primary election on April 23, repelling an opponent who challenged her partly because of her criticism of Israel’s brutal war crimes in Gaza. A proud member of “the squad,” she was targeted by the American Israel Political Action Committee. But to repel the anticipated AIPAC, she raised over a million dollars in the last quarter of 2023, most of it from small dollar donors. She raised about $900,000 more in the first three months of 2024. Her opponent, Bhavini Patel, beat on the Israel drum until it broke. She had the backing of a billionaire Jeffrey Yass, but his billions were nothing compared to the will of the people.

In Maryland, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks faces a similar challenge as she runs for the United States Senate against billionaire bully David Trone, the founder of Total Wine, Trone has poured nearly $50 million into his own race, claiming that his self-funded campaign makes him immune to outside influences. I guess that’s why he donates heavily to people who oppose a woman’s right to choose, saying “business reasons” explain his donations. Will business reasons also explain his actions if, heaven forbid, he prevails over Alsobrooks in the Seante race?

Trone has poured his millions into a series of television ads, featuring Black folks who live outside Maryland attesting to his supposed effectiveness. He’s also found ordinary Black citizens to speak of their interactions with him. Par for the course. But recently his ads have taken an ugly turn, replete with racist dog whistles. Alsobrooks, the ads say, is not qualified to run for the United States Senate. Most offensively, one ad states that Alsobrooks, who managed a multi-billion dollar budget, “needs training wheels.” More than two hundred Black women who support Alsobrooks (full disclosure – including yours truly), describes that comment as “not only disparaging and dismissive but also echoes tones of misogyny and racism”. It is misogynoir in its most base form.

Misogyny is defined “hatred of contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. It is a form of sexism that can keep women at a lower social status than men, thus maintaining the social roles of patriarchy.” Misogynoir, then takes it to another level, with a special hatred, contempt for or prejudice against Black women and girls. We see it every day, in the way that little black girls are demonized and criminalized. In the ways that Black women, like Harvard’s Dr. Claudine Gay, are hounded out of their jobs and positions of power. We see it when fools come at Vice President Harris with specious suggestions that she should vacate the Biden-Harris ticket and let a white boy step into a spot she has not only earned but excelled in.

Are we seeing this rancid misogynoir in my beloved San Francisco? Mayor London Breed is, in my opinion, a rock star. But a cabal of white men are lobbing attacks at her nonstop. And like Rep. Summer Lee, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and LA Mayor Karen Bass, she faces white boys with big checkbooks who want to buy her seat. As soon as Daniel Lurie announced his mayoral bid, his mama gifted his campaign a million dollars. The Levi Strauss heiress sent a signal to her moneyed friends, and undoubtedly others in her high-rolling circles will follow. Is San Francisco for sale? Lurie is not the only challenge Mayor Breed faces, but none of them has offered principled opposition. Can misogynoir reign in San Francisco? Not if we fight it.

In Pennsylvania, Summer Lee overcame misogynoir with hard work, organizing, and small dollar donations. In Maryland, Angela has the enthusiastic support of most Maryland elective officials, including Governor Wes Moore, Comptroller Brooke Lierman, and beloved progressive Congressman Jamie Raskin. Will San Franciscans rally around London Breed? Many are salivating at the prospect of her loss. San Franciscans have the opportunity to develop a counter-narrative and reelect Mayor Breed.

The election isn’t until November but the momentum must start now. We need voter education, especially about ranked order voting, and voter mobilization. It’s work.

Dr. Rhonda Sharpe, the economist (and my friend, who founded the Women’s Institute for Science Equity and Race sent me a t-shirt a few years ago that read, “Don’t Call It Black Girl Magic, I Worked Hard for This S$it”. As Black women become more visible in the policy space, many are tempted to call our presence magic. And we are magic, with our special swag, our incandescent presence. Our magic, though, is combined with hard work and with a determined resistance to misogynoir. We need to work to elect the sisters who are working hard to change our world.

BC Editorial Board Member Dr. Julianne

Malveaux, PhD (JulianneMalveaux.com)

is former dean of the College of Ethnic

Studies at Cal State, the Honorary Co-

Chair of the Social Action Commission of

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

and serves on the boards of the

Economic Policy Institute as well as The

Recreation Wish List Committee of

Washington, DC.

Her latest book is Are We Better Off?

Race, Obama and Public Policy. A native

San Franciscan, she is the President and

owner of Economic Education a 501 c-3

non-profit headquartered in Washington,

D.C. During her time as the 15th

President of Bennett College for Women,

Dr. Malveaux was the architect of

exciting and innovative transformation at

America’s oldest historically black college

for women. Contact Dr. Malveaux and