Dear Ludmya “Mia” Love,
Let me start by offering sincere congratulations for securing the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. representative seat in Utah’s fourth district. We’re not that far removed from Shirley Chisholm’s historic run in 1968, so it’s commendable when black women attain prominent political positions. You’re quite familiar with demolishing racial and gender-specific boundaries. Winning a council seat and marking a place in the books, as the first Haitian-American woman elected in Utah County, is a triumphant feat. Black women are uplifting those achievements in love. You are stimulating black kiddos to educate themselves about politics just as Gabrielle Douglas is empowering them to tumble into greatness. That’s admirable.
I am writing this letter as a black woman, journalist, and scholar who examines the impact of media on other black women.
I have been invested in politics since the 2000 presidential election, when I was booted from a sixth-grade government class for calling President George W. Bush a bastard. So in full disclosure, I’ll admit that I’m the most liberal of liberals. But even with that bias, I was compelled to watch the Republican National Convention. I was astounded when I learned that a charismatic Haitian-American woman would be delivering a prime-time speech at the RNC.
A few moments later, I was transfixed. You commanded that room with a zealous speech that rallied the Republican troops against the commander-in-chief. It was a sight to behold. I recognized the significance of the moment. You were representing the pinnacle of the American Dream with statements like this:
“Let me tell you about the America I know. My parents immigrated to this country with $10 in their pockets and the hope that the America they heard about really did exist. The America I know is grounded in the determination found in patriots and pioneers. It’s found in the Olympic athletes and every child who looks at the impossible and says, ‘I can do that.’ That’s the America I know …. Mr. President, I’m here to tell you the American people are awake and we’re not buying what you’re selling in 2012. This is the America we know because we built it.”
Your fellow conservatives offered a rousing standing ovation. I did not. I realized that like Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, and other black Republicans, you are being used to divide and conquer African Americans. You are not the first and will not be the last. For that, I’m disappointed.
Sister, we are the hope of the slave. Black Americans, stripped of the humanities of their basic rights, were forced to provide the foundation for these United States. We battled and died in the war to be recognized as equals. So seeing you standing on a national platform and ripping a black man and his political policies to shreds in an attempt to gain favor in a party that is attempting to limit the African-American vote, oppress women’s rights, and demolish Medicare is painful.
This is more than a difference of political opinion. You are of Haitian descent, so our origins are different, but our struggles are the same. As black women, we have been oppressed and manipulated for decades. You are in a position to make a difference as First Lady Michelle Obama has done in her reign. Don’t lose that in an attempt to appease. Don’t be a pawn. It isn’t too late to assert independence in a sea of group think.
A Disappointed Black Woman