Due to the comments we have seen over the past few days, we want to clarify some misconceptions about our position on the matter of the Women’s March.

  • Our issue with the “vote” theme is twofold. It’s about:
    • The exclusion of marginalized people of all ethnicities and
    • The narrow focus of the prescribed method to fight back.
  • Replacing “vote” with “voice” is a broader call. Voice can include voting for those inclined to do so. That’s not true the other way around.
  • Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati (BLMC) does NOT claim to represent the views of ALL Black people. In fact, some Black people DO believe the most powerful thing we can do to help oppressed people is to vote. We do claim to represent a significant force in the city with a proven record of defense of oppressed peoples.
  • BLMC has no individual qualm with Billie Mays or United We Stand (UWS) in general. This is NOT a personal attack. We have never expressed that Billie or organizers of the march are racist.
  • UWS is not composed of only rich or middle class women. It’s composed of individuals across income lines, many of whom share an illusion in elections. They are also composed of various ethnicities. We don’t care. People of Color (POC) have permeated nearly every political expression in the United States, from liberal to communist to fascist. So you can find POC to side with just about anything.
  • BLMC unapologetically expressed a political difference. The problem isn’t that (UWS) organizers aren’t listening to POC. The problem is, they don’t think the political considerations raised about marginalized people were important enough to heed and thereby make adjustments to the action. For them, it’s sufficient listening exclusively to POC partial to their voting theme. The politics and very nature of electorally based campaigns are exclusionary and not just of Black women. Voting will not solve or even make inroads into what happens to women on the job across industries. Some of the revelations that revived the #MeToo movement happened with Democrats in office. And the heinous acts were committed by Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, and even professed champions of women’s rights (pre-Trump).
    • Those who oppress us MUST convince us their system does provide a road to liberation and that the system is just BROKEN, rather than working EXACTLY LIKE IT’S SUPPOSED TO. And that’s where voting comes in.
    • Pro Democratic Party organizers nationally saw the outpouring of women last year who were there primarily for CHOICE, for LGBTQ rights, against sexist discrimination, etc., and saw an opportunity to capitalize on the turn out and use it for their aims. THAT’S the conspiracy and it’s poorly veiled.
    • Many of the liberal layers scoff at Trump for his “Make America Great Again” slogan. But ultimately they believe it. If this system was NEVER great, but ALWAYS sexist, racist and against poor people, why on earth would one insist on “fixing it” by voting.
  • As Black Lives Matter (BLM) (the national entity) has moved further away from protest, further away from families demanding justice and jailing of killer cops, they have simultaneously moved closer to elections, electoral politics and the quest for a “Black seat at the table.” BLMC is NOT affiliated with that group and we don’t care what they do and don’t endorse.
  • Our position has nothing to do with the views of BLM national or other POC suddenly called forth to defend the theme as is. This is about BLMC — a local, independent organization that UWS knows and has worked with. To hide behind what “all the other marches are doing” is weak. This is Cincinnati. In this particular city, you have an organization that has been central in the local fights here that lend a hand of solidarity to anyone. That group pulled organizers aside privately and said, “hey, how about changing the theme name (not the aim of the week, not the speakers, not their key points, but just the theme name) so we can, in good conscience, participate. We explained then the reasoning in our statement. UWS rejected that request.
  • UWS organizers are now demanding unity as if BLMC caused the division.
  • BLMC has gone to great efforts to be inclusive. BLMC could have chosen to set out alone to organize police brutality action, but we knew that having a broader voice with political diversity — including those that organize around electoral issues — was more powerful. For that reason, we set out to build a coalition of EVERYONE opposed to police brutality. We simplified and universalized basic demands to allow everyone to feel comfortable and participate. We’ve done this numerous times.
  • BLMC goes out of our way to give other voices with different views the podium, the interview with the press, the literature table space to push their individual ideas, etc.
  • BLMC is not just a “Black rights” organization. Some United We Stand (UWS) organizers and supporters posture as if our group doesn’t contain women or that our organization is not a women’s rights organization and thus should “stay in our lane.” We are women, we are men, we are straight, gay, trans, queer and every tick on the spectrum. We are Black, Native, white, Latinx, Asian and more. And we defend ALL layers of marginalized, exploited and oppressed people.
  • We do this because we function in a PRINCIPLED manner and carry out the same approach to building the movement across struggles. We are open and transparent. We are flexible up to the point of our principles being challenged.