Niki M. is a published author and an advocate for science, skepticism, atheism and reproductive rights – among many other things. Niki is one of my fellow clinic escorts, and she is subjected to the same kind of targeted harassment as the rest of us who provide care to the clients who visit our clinic. However, as a woman of color she gets a little extra love from the protesters. This open letter is a guest post by Niki to her harassers, and to all of those protesters who think that it’s okay to target a clinic escort based on her skin color. You can follow Niki at @jailawrites
Dear White Anti-Choicers,
Hey, how’s it going? Nice day we’re having. it’s a mite chilly, though, but the sun’ll be up soon on this glorious Saturday morning. Then again, the sun will make those all of that lovely fetal snuff porn you have on display inescapable. And you brought your kids too. How nice.
By the way, thanks for waiting for me to pay for my parking and put on my escort vest before launching into the weekly “Think of the babies” spiel. I find our relationship to be kinda like Ralph and Sam from the Looney Tunes shorts way back when. You know, we gather at the front of the clinic, occasionally exchange good mornings, then once the vest is on we begin the weekly shift. In case you’re missing my metaphor, see, I am Sam the sheepdog and you’re the coyote, and the sheep we’re fighting over are the patients who come in for appointments.
You’re not exactly a very bright coyote; at least Ralph had some cunning and brains. You guys run after any young face that walks past. You run after every old face. You run after faces in scrubs going in to work. You go after faces that have no idea that there’s a clinic that performs abortions nearby. One of you goes into the nearby park looking for faces. All of you are trying to push those brochures full of lies.
Sometimes you engage the escorts. Again, you’re not very bright. Your arguments are tired and false, your insults hilarious. My fellow escorts, the Sams that look after and lead scared and worried and harried patients inside with a big smile and understanding and empathy, tend to ignore you directly. We mock you behind your back, because it’s funny and what else are we going to do when we’re standing in the weather for up to two hours?
Then I show up and the arguments get…very targeted.
“Did you know that Margaret Sanger was a racist?”
“And abortion was a means to eradicate the black race?”
“Have you heard of Alveda King?” and when I don’t respond, “Well, have you heard of Martin Luther King?”
…let us reflect on the sheer guts and spine and stupidity it takes to ask a Black woman in America who looks as if she didn’t just come out of the womb herself yesterday whether she heard of MLK.
How lovely of you to save such pointed questions for lil ol’ me, anti-choicers. I bet you were sitting on those for a while, waiting for a very special someone to spring them on. Someone with a certain appreciation. Someone with..aw, hell I’m not wearing a vest right now, I don’t need to be subtle.
Thanks for concern of the future of my race, dipshits, but somehow I think all of Black America will do just fine without your sort of concerns. Your sort of concern seems to imply that we folk just are too stupid to realize the genocide that happens whenever one of ours decides to end a pregnancy. Why, to hear you go on, the rivers of Black blood will only be stopped by old white folks with rosaries and graphic pictures of medical waste.
And yes, I AM aware of who Alveda King is, and I am aware that she is a conservative fame glutton of the worst sort, preporting to speak for a man who died when she was a teenager. I am aware of the shade she try to throw to her aunt, Coretta Scott King, a woman with more caring and class in her decayed fingertips that Miss Alveda has in her entire living body. Also, way to assume that we’re some sort of hivemind and I’m the one out of step.
And yes, I AM aware of Margaret Sanger’s backwards and fucked up and deeply racist views on eugenics and so called lesser races. I also know that she didn’t invent abortion, and I’m enough of a grown up to see that letting people who wish to have abortions to get them safely is a boon to our culture. Maybe you should picket a VW plant next, because Hitler.
Let me ask you a few questions, Sister Mary All In My Business. I’ll ask them here since you can’t interrupt with the same looping nonsense you say to everyone. If you are so concerned about the future of the population of Black people, as opposed to wielding this like an anti-choice arrow in your quiver of bullshit, what are your views on the prison pipeline, the disparity of black mothers getting maternity care, the number of minority kids left to linger in the foster system, the cuts to Head Start, welfare, SNAP, and other government programs that help care for black babies, our broken public school system and closings that just happen to happen in minority communities, the wholesale assumption that black children are tiny adults and are not allowed the innocence of youth, the stigma of single black mothers are everything that is wrong with society, and I can go on for hours. Because these are just the tip of the iceberg of things that actually affect black babies.
If you’re not willing to get off your cross and work on those things, don’t fucking talk to me about the future of my race.