On race, leftist white women are now being told to shut up and stand back

You may remember how, in 2018, a Starbucks in Philadelphia refused to let two black businessmen use a restroom and ended up calling the police on them. It turned out that a black woman and a white woman witnessed the event. They became allies in the DEI business but, according to the L.A. Times, the relationship is now dead because the white woman didn’t know her place.

Michelle Saahene (36 and black) and Melissa DePino (55 and white) were at the Starbucks when they witnessed the men’s arrest. They started talking and exchanged contact information. When DePino got hold of a copy of a video someone took of the event, she talked to Saahene before tweeting it out. It was that tweet that went viral.

The two women started a nonprofit to make people aware of racism. They marketed themselves as a team that would help corporations raise their DEI profile.

Image: Black and white women by freepik.

Then, things fell apart—because DePino (white) didn’t know her place, which was, apparently, to be an adjunct of and support for Saahene (black). I’m not making that up. Here’s the quotation:

“This is what happens when white women insert themselves into what should be Black-led organizations,” Saahene, who is Black and 36, said recently. “White supremacy and emotional abuse get masked under kindness.”

One could stop with that quotation, but context really adds to it. 

DePino is a typical older, white leftist woman:

DePino, a marketing professional and liberal mother of two, told audiences of becoming an activist after “seeing racism on display right in front of my eyes” and of educating herself by reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Baldwin and Frederick Douglass.

Without knowing more about her, it’s easy to imagine her wearing that stupid pink hat on the day of Trump’s inauguration or being one of those white women screaming at black police officers during the George Floyd riots. These are women who are suffering from the cognitive dissonance of being both oppressor (white, educated, middle class) and oppressed (female). It makes them crazy.

Meanwhile, the much younger Saahene is typical of today’s black activists who see themselves as perpetual outsiders and victims. There is no cognitive dissonance at all:

The daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, she used lessons she’d learned from an online diversity, equity and inclusion certificate course to talk about race.

She spoke of being one of the few Black children in her small town outside Hershey, Pa., and of never feeling “Black enough.” Black Americans often told her she was instead “African,” and she felt more at home with Ghanaian culture than with Black American culture. She recounted painful memories of racism, including when the mother of a white boyfriend called her the N-word after they broke up.

For DePino and Saahene, the business relationship exploded thanks to the video showing George Floyd dying from heart failure while police restrained him, with an initial, honest coroner’s report showing he died from a potent combination of raging heart disease and multiple illegal drugs. Suddenly, the women were everywhere selling the horrors of white racism and white denial about that racism. To know just how close they were, “Saahene house-sat for DePino and had the code to her marijuana safe.” Eventually, they were also making really good money.

However, with Biden’s ascension to the White House, they no longer had an audience anxious to counter the horrors of Donald Trump. Also, their product was useless. “Research has suggested that one-shot seminars, speeches and sensitivity exercises do little to curb unconscious biases.” Suddenly the women weren’t “hot” anymore.

And then Saahene, who spent months annually living in Ghana, decided that the real problem was DePino’s whiteness:

She began to question her role as a Black woman who spoke to white audiences about racism.

“I started to realize that I was the draw: my skin, my story,” Saahene said.

The problem was that Saahene wanted to revel in her emotions, while DePino wanted to run a business that capitalized on Floyd’s death. The women also started arguing over money, with Saahene demanding more because she was the real selling point. The women apparently tried to work it out, but the bottom line was that DePino was just…too white:

[Saahene] called DePino “manipulative” and cited “the challenges of working with white women in racial justice,” arguing that “Black people shouldn’t always have to be in therapist or coach mode.”

So, while DePino thought she was an anti-racist ally, Saahene viewed her as someone who had gotten too big for her racial britches by trying to capitalize on the black experience.

There’s more, so much more, all of it petty, stupid, self-centered, masochistic (DePino), narcissistic (Saahene), and ultimately, once you get the joke, boring. The bottom line is that those crazy, hysterical, self-flagellating leftist white women get in the way of the crazy, hysterical, and self-celebrating leftist black women. This was, of course, inevitable, considering that leftism makes people crazy.

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