Allison Wiltz, in her piece Do Black Men Need to Be Careful Around White Women?, once spoke to how White women have historically weaponized their whiteness when dealing with Black men. From Amy Cooper’s false allegations against a Black birdwatcher to Courtney Clenney’s history of assault and eventual murder of Christian Obumseli, Wiltz listed several examples where White women have endangered or ended the lives of Black men. Given the frequency and severity of these occurrences, she at one point asked if Black men should be careful around White women in general.
While true that from a sociological perspective White women have historically posed a substantial threat to Black men, worth noting is the danger faced by Black women as well. Though both have varied, unique experiences, one cannot omit Black women from discussions regarding the weaponization of White womanhood.
White Women’s Negative Impact on Black Women
Today, we see several examples of White women using their position in society to terrorize Black women. On November 6th of this year, University of Kentucky student Sophia Rosing, while intoxicated, physically attacked two Black students who were trying to ensure her safety. While doing so Rosing repeatedly called one student, Kylah Spring, the n-word, a term that when used by Whites sparks images of violence and hatred among many Black people today. Though Rosing was eventually arrested for her actions, she did not receive charges for committing a hate crime, despite using what is arguably the most notorious, enduring racial slur in American history.
Rosing’s behavior is not uncommon, as there have been several incidents where White women were caught using racial slurs against Black women over time. Last year, a White woman went on a racist tirade while at a Ross Dress for Less, calling a Black store manager “Black bitch” and “monkey.” Throughout this incident, the store manager remained calm and politely asked the woman to leave, a response much better than what her perpetrator deserved. Nancy Goodman used the n-word, this time directed at two Black women, during a confrontation at a North Carolina restaurant in July 2019. Goodman showed no remorse for her behavior and later said she would do it again.