Racial tensions threaten liberal ‘unity’ for women’s star-studded anti-Trump march

The upcoming Women’s March on Washington was supposed to unite women but has instead apparently sparked some divisive dialogue.

Scheduled for the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the progressive event was intended to bring women together to protest the incoming president and his alleged treatment of women.

But Jennifer Willis, a 50 year-old wedding minister from South Carolina, cancelled her trip after reading a post on the Facebook page for the march, The New York Times reported.

Willis, who was planning to take her daughters with her to the event, was offended by a post by ShiShi Rose, a 27-year-old blogger from Brooklyn, because it made her feel unwelcome.

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“Now is the time for you to be listening more, talking less,” Ms. Rose wrote, according to the Times. “You should be reading our books and understanding the roots of racism and white supremacy. Listening to our speeches. You should be drowning yourselves in our poetry.”

Willis found the tone of the post off-putting.

“How do you know that I’m not reading black poetry?” she told the Times.

“This is a women’s march,” she said “We’re supposed to be allies in equal pay, marriage, adoption. Why is it now about, ‘White women don’t understand black women’?”

Rose told the Times that she did not intend to discourage people from attending but to point out that they had a lot to learn first.

“I needed them to understand that they don’t just get to join the march and not check their privilege constantly,” she said.

“Can you please tell me what that means?” an exasperated Willis asked.

The Jan. 21 march, with Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte as honorary co-chairs, has inspired and alienated those involved.

According to the Times:

In some ways, the discord is by design. Even as they are working to ensure a smooth and unified march next week, the national organizers said they made a deliberate decision to highlight the plight of minority and undocumented immigrant women and provoke uncomfortable discussions about race.

Another post on the march’s Facebook page featured a quote from black feminist, Bell Hooks, about forging a stronger sisterhood by “confronting the ways women — through sex, class and race — dominated and exploited other women.”

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A woman from New Jersey wrote in response: “I’m starting to feel not very welcome in this endeavor.”

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