A 60s Black Feminist Pioneer on the Rage We Feel Today

By Myrna Hill*, Redstockings

Front page myrnas piece

Hundreds of protesters at a #BlackLivesMatter March on January 28, 2015, shut down a major campus intersection in Gainesville, FL. Photo by Yatrick Solanki. Action led by Dream Defenders.

When white cops are killing black people over and over on one pretext or another and not seriously being prosecuted for it—it is terrorism, the same as whites lynching blacks early in the 20th Century.  And in the same way, men use rape and domestic violence to terrorize women of all colors into staying in our places and shutting up.  They are essentially saying, "We can do this anytime we want, and you can't do anything to stop us, so you'd better bow your head and be subservient, if you know what's good for you."  Both are lessons to discourage the others.

These recent killings by the police do not intend for the destruction of only one black man; they are meant for all of us, which is why African Americans who are paying attention are so enraged.  These racist whites are always talking about terrorist threats from the Middle East, and how terrorists must be fought with endless war.  And all the while white supremacists and male supremacists have been committing or turning a blind eye to terrorism against their own citizens here in the U.S.  All in aid of maintaining their power and privilege without being confronted by challengers to it.

* Myrna Hill is a member of Redstockings. She has a long history of radical political engagement, including work in the Brooklyn African Teachers Association, the Black Anti-Draft Union and the Young Socialist Alliance, the youth group of the Socialist Workers Party.  After attending a Redstockings meeting in 1969, she was “instantly hooked.” In 1970, along with SNCC’s Fran Beal, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Maxine Williams, Hill led the Third World Women’s Alliance, a pioneering women of color feminist group.