How Race And Gender Intersect In The Women’s Movement | NBC News NOW

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/27/2019 05:49 AM

NBC News’ Simone Boyce sits with activist Rachel Cargle to talk about how race and gender intersect in the world of activism. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful n...

Today, we're reasoning with rachael cargill, a writer lecturer and public academic rachael gained massive exposure when a photo of her at the women's march went viral. It started a dialogue about who is included in the modern feminist movement to her over three hundred thousand followers on instagram she's known as someone who doesn't shy away from tough conversations about womanhood, blackness an ...
racism. Conversations that often make some people feel uncomfortable and that's exactly what she's going for rachael. You are a writer, academic and activist with a huge following on social media, and that following is a group of people who have gravitated toward your anti-racism work. So i want you to define what anti-racism work meansyeah, mostly anti-racism work, centers around the term anti and looking at the racism that we experience in the world, what we see every day and our work, our businesses, our schools and making the decision to be actively anti-racist. Instead of just saying, i'm not racist, so i feel like it should be given for just all people to not accept racism and, to you know, try to incorporate anti racism actions in their everyday life, but you've chosen to make this your career. When did you make that decision and why it was really interesting? It was after the women's march in 2017 i had a photo that went viral and when that photo went viral, my faceand, my feminism, was kind of in front of a lot more eyes than it's ever been, and i was getting asked a lot of questions that I hadn't really thought of in depth and a lot of it centered around my race and my womanhood, and that's when i started doing my own work, my own research and really discovering a lot of the racism that was within the feminist movement, and i realized wait. If i wasn't fully aware of all of this, then there certainly are a ton of people who aren't aware, most importantly, white women, who were part of the harm that was happening to so many people of color. Interestingly, after that photo wentviral, i got a lot of white women followers and i began to talk about how race intersects, with our womanhood, and so it kind of all, just fell into place for me to begin learning as much as i could teaching. As i learned and then people began to listen and learn along with me, what are some of the ways in which you think white women are oppressing people of color without realizing it? The most obvious thing that we saw was with the election in which white women with the demographics. They voted for trump 53 %. More than half of the white women in the country who decided to go vote voted for trump.

They made thedecision to protect what trump meant for their whiteness, knowing the harm that it would cost to every other demographic of women in the country even themselves. Honestly, some white women do have their rationale for why they voted for trump. For many, it's religious reasons. For many it's you know, pro-life is something that they're very passionate about one woman that i'm thinking in particular is a single mother who has a daughter with a medical condition. She voted for trump because she thought that that would be the most beneficial thing for her family financially and she wound up getting a healthy tax return. Is there a world in which those women get to vote on those interestsfor her to get to a space where she has the privilege of saying? Well, i'm gon na vote for this person, knowing that other people will be hurt, but it will benefit me. That'S a privilege that a lot of people don't have like black people couldn't even vote. You know for so much time not to say that she needs to ignore her needs, but white women need to recognize that the patriarchy that racism, that white supremacy. All of this is to the detriment of everyone in the long run, so your comment section it can get, it can get pretty lit sometimes and it can get pretty heated and i have seen white women in there feelinglike they're being villainized or feeling like they are Being discriminated against, i always say: if you have feelings about equality and justice, you should talk to your therapist about it like we're, not dealing with feelings, we're dealing with factual historical situations that need to be rectified for literally the livelihood of people of color, someone's fragility Or someone's feelings around approaching a conversation about race is of no concern to me. It'S interesting white people are more frustrated about talking about race than the actual racism. That'S killing people in this country. So you don't feel like many of the conversations that we have about race today, white people, you don't feel like white people are vilified, atall, there's a very villain like reality to the ways that white people have continuously treated people of color.

So if they feel like a villain based on the historical context of the role they play and race, then they can deal with that themselves. But it's very interesting that there's this deep desire to soft in the historical context of the way white people have played into race yeah, but there wasn't that concern when those actual things have been happening over time. To that point, i'd often say in in my anti racism workshops that i do. I ask the white people in the audience. I say tell me who you don't talk to about race and whyand. I ask them to put the why down and often i get a lot of response like it's painful or i don't want to hurt my mother by bringing this up - and i say it's just discomfort unless your mother is going to stab you for bringing up how Racist she is then you're just uncomfortable you're, not in pain. I have to encourage my white listeners not to make themselves the victim in a conversation about race like why are white people now making themselves the victim just in conversation about race, we haven't even gotten to the action part, yet you must be exhausted all the time. How do you take care of yourself? I mean you'reeducating, all the time like it doesn't stop, because you're always posting and you're, always informing and educating. How do you take care of yourself rachel if i were to see a first-grade teacher who was with 31st graders all day, i'd be like you have to be exhausted, but that person would tell you? Oh, it's just my work, it's what i do it's what i studied for, and so i feel the same way. This is my work, so i don't think i feel the burden that people think that i feel, and so i wake up ready to teach. I wake up ready to do research to see what i can bring to the table for conversationbut. I also am really grateful for the ways that i have access an opportunity to rest in the way that i wanted me to yeah.

Well, i am super grateful for this conversation. I know this stuff is tough and i know it's like very complex, so i just appreciate you like being willing to have this conversation with me. I'M happy we got ta. Thank you. Thank you. Hey nbc news viewers. Thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch, the latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusives thanks for watching.

Watch Next