Grace and Frankie actress and author June Diane Raphael announced on social media that she backed out of making a speech at Saturday’s Women’s March in Los Angeles after Black Lives Matter claimed it wasn’t invited to the event.
June Diane, who co-wrote the girlboss political book Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office & Changing the World, said in two tweets she’s reflecting on the impact of white supremacy on women’s rights issues.
In solidarity with @BLMLA I’m no longer speaking at the Women’s March LA today. I can only imagine the world we would live in if white women centered and organized around black women and all women of color. (1 of 2)
— June Diane Raphael (@MsJuneDiane) January 18, 2020
Black Lives Matter LA tweeted Friday afternoon it hadn’t been invited to the Women’s March LA although the organization received invitations in previous years. BLMLA also added it failed to receive a response from WMLA about the lost invitation.
Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles has been excluded from the 4th Annual Women’s March in Los Angeles. WMLA did not invite Black Lives Matter to participate, failed to respond to an email request for inclusion, and further refused speaking time during a subs… https://t.co/30LrXG8RG4 pic.twitter.com/S4se9TOuJu
— #BlackLivesMatter-LA (@BLMLA) January 18, 2020
The WMLA said it didn’t invite BLMLA because of its focus on the election year, according to NBC News.
Women’s March has long been criticized by black women for being held on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day weekend. Will the 300,000 who showed up to the LA march Saturday be at the MLK march—another civil rights event—on Monday in the Crenshaw District?
The first national march occurred Jan. 21, 2017, the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, with many black women holding signs blaming the 53% of white women who purported to have voted for Trump.
Last year, Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory saw backlash for supporting the controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of saying remarks that have been viewed as anti-Semitic. The controversy overshadowed the 2019 march with Tamika leaving the board.
In 2018, BLMLA believed the WMLA included Zionists and individuals who supported the state of Israel “at a time when Palestinian women and girls were being killed,” BLMLA co-founder Melina Abdullah wrote in an op-ed over the 2020 exclusion. She added that same year the organization felt the Black Lives Matter-Youth Vanguard co-founder and black Muslim 14-year-old organizer, Thandiwe Abdullah, had been labeled an anti-Semite by WMLA for supporting Palestinian women.
The march attracted lower attendance across the country, according to multiple media reports. With the accusations around the Women’s March becoming anti-black and labeling top black activists as anti-Semitic for supporting other black activists or supporting a specific group of women, the movement may see more decline due to inclusivity of all women. The anti-Trump roots also make it uninviting to women who voted for Trump or identify as conservative and/or anti-abortion.
Released last September and co-written with policy adviser Kate Black, June Diane’s guidebook provides information to women interested in running for office with advice from women in office from major political parties.
Chapter 10 in the book, “What About Those Pesky Nudes I Took? And Other Questions About Life on the Internet,” discusses the worries a woman considering politics may have, such as social media gaffes, arrests, unpaid taxes, job firings and abortions. It also gives advice on how to handle these situations, with honesty being the best policy when situations explode.
“Your story is your story,” reads page 137. “Don’t let anyone else tell your narrative, your history, your experience differently than how you want it told.”