“De nigger woman is de mule uh de world.”
— Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Do me a favor.
Before reading this, open another tab and Google “Beyoncé Vote.” Because when I call Bette Midler stupid, I don’t want anyone to think it is an insult. Google returned 21 million results when I performed the aforementioned search. The first result came on October 29, 2016, when the Hill published a story that’s headline was literally: “Beyoncé Urges Fans to Vote.” The second was a Blavity article announcing that Jay-Z and Beyoncé allowed fans to vote at their “On the Run” tour. The last link on the page led to this picture on Beyoncé’s Facebook account:
Miriam Webster defines “stupid” as: “given to unintelligent decisions or acts,” “acting in an unintelligent or careless manner” or “lacking intelligence or reason.”
Because I know Bette Midler has access to search engines, when she carelessly tweeted that Beyoncé should urge the Beyhive to vote, I also knew that the call to action from the privileged head of pickled cabbage known as Bette Midler lacked intelligence or reason.
Although the 52 percent number is quoted often, Pew Research’s Validated Voter Survey, considered the most accurate exit poll from the 2016 election, says that 47 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump and 45 percent voted for Hillary Clinton. That same poll shows that 98 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton.
So, of course, Black Twitter went bananas on Bette for arbitrarily singling out Beyoncé instead of projecting her white-womanery on all the stars with significantly whiter female fanbases.
Although Midler’s tweet upset many people, I totally understand where she’s coming from. She’s not being racist. She’s using facts.
Black women picked their cotton, nursed their babies and swept their floors as white women sat on plantation porches sipping mint juleps. A black woman started the #MeToo movement that white women coopted and benefitted from. Black women started the Movement for Black Lives after a certain white woman referred to black people as “superpredators.” And then, black women turned around and supported her.
White women kept Jim Crow alive, in part so they could move to the front of the voting line. White women have never ever been on the side of Black America, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it’s reflected in a tweet. Shitting on the floor and calling for their mammy to mop it up is part of the long history of white feminists. So I get why the wadded up piece of Kleenex suggested that Beyoncé clean up the mess white people made.
But mostly, it’s because Bette Midler is fucking stupid.