Earlier this month Hillary Clinton ended years of speculation by launching her second presidential bid. And while some were excited to hear Clinton’s announcement, Jada Pinkett Smith is a bit apprehensive about her 2016 aspirations.
The actress and philanthropist recently penned an open Facebook letter titled, “Race vs Gender,” in which she admitted to being more “confused and anxious” about a Clinton candidacy than excited due to “old hurts and scars” stemming from race relations.
In the past, I have been criticized for suggesting that black women extend our media platforms to white women in the way in which white women are making strides to extend their media platforms to us, but Hillary’s announcement reminded me that the relationship between black and white women on the political platform has been deeply complicated, disappointing and painful. The only question I have been asking myself is if I’m suppose to vote for Hillary because she is a woman; will she take us to the mountaintop with her or will women of color once again be left out and left behind?
The “Gotham” star went on to mention how black women were previously excluded from the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and how she has been personally affected by the feminist movement.
“I personally suffered the racism and classism of the feminist movement and now have had to watch my daughter battle even ageism as she journeys to participate in the feminist movement,” she added. “But she continues to fight the good fight referring to herself as a feminist while her mother refers to herself as a womanist who supports feminism and feminists.”
Can Hillary, whether she becomes President or not, heal the broken political ties of the women of this nation? I know it takes far more than the idea of being the first female President of the United States to run this country, but as a woman, it sure is an exciting idea. Women of color and white women have been taking on the majority of their fights on the political platform on separate lines; can Hillary Clinton change that legacy through her journey to become president?
Since posting on April 18, Pinkett Smith’s open letter has gotten over 53,600 likes from readers, including actress Zoe Saldana. Despite Pinkett Smith's thoughts, a number of black celebrities have shown their support for Clinton:
Read more of Jada Pinkett Smith’s letter here.