I was traveling for work yesterday and had to live vicariously through social media as women paid homage to the suffragists and activists who made it possible for us to vote and for a woman to run for president – people gathered for Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, for Shirley Chisholm in Buffalo, for Elizabeth Caty Stanton in the Bronx, and for Ida B. Wells in Chicago.
Yesterday, I wanted to be at their grave sites to honor their work and efforts.
Today, I want to go and apologize.
White women in America followed in Anthony’s tainted footsteps when we should have followed in Wells. We walked away from our responsibility to women of color and their families. We chose to vote for our self-interest instead of women’s interests.
A part of me is pushing back hard against my use of “we.” *I* didn’t vote for him. I campaigned and advocated for her as hard as I could. Me, and my fellow college-educated White women, voted for her. But look at how narrow that margin is.
I continue to believe passionately and without equivocation in public education. Free, universal, compulsory education is what makes progress possible. I fear, though, my love for the profession I adore is cracking. In a few moments, a woman I respect, admire, and wanted to see be my president will give a concession speech. I don’t want to listen to it. I want this not to be real. I have to listen. I have to do better. I have to be better.
And tomorrow, I’m going to recommit to this field once called “women’s true profession.” I’m going to do everything within my power to change the narrative around who determines the rules of school, who sets policy, and whose voices get heard.
Step 1? Make Anna Julia Cooper’s name as familiar John Dewey’s.