The bright-pink afterglow of the weekend’s massive Women’s March on Washington had barely faded Sunday and thousands of women were still boarding planes and buses home when the critics came out swinging.
No, not President Donald Trump, who did wonder Sunday on Twitter, “Why didn’t these people vote?”
The critics were women and men of color.
They saw privilege in the march that allowed hundreds of thousands of women — the overwhelming majority of them white — to march freely, beyond the borders of their permitted route in Washington, filling the streets in Los Angeles, effectively shutting down downtown Chicago, yet never encountering police in riot gear, never having to wipe away pepper spray, never fearing arrest. They saw privilege in the women posing for photos with grinning officers wearing pink “pussy hats” alongside them. High-fiving police, even.
And how did Madonna get away with talk of “blowing up the White House” in a speech on the Mall when those with darker skin fear saying such things even in private company?
On social media, the peaceful march had started a ruckus.
“White women and white bodies can hold space on streets and shut down cities ‘peacefully’ because they are allowed to,” wrote blogger and author Luvvie Ajayi in a Facebook post that has been shared more than 6,000 times. “Black and brown people who march are assaulted by cops.”
“In a world that doesn’t protect women much, when it chooses to, it is white women it protects,” Ajayi wrote.