Becky Hammon, Renisha McBride, and Organizations that Push Women Forward for Us All

Today, I am torn: The recent news of the San Antonio Spurs hiring Becky Hammon as an assistant coach is enough to bend the unwritten rule of this website, “Do Not Make Sports A Category, Kahrima.” The rule exists merely because I spend enough of my time offline working around the sports and entertainment atmosphere, only to go home and watch more sports, but there is a duty beyond the work, popularity, and overall love of our games that is necessary to live and for others, live to write about. The recent news of the trial about a young, black woman named Renisha McBride who was murdered on a porch by an older, white male completely interrupted my rejoice over the NBA, Spurs and Hammon. The trial ended, however, with the man who murdered Renisha being convicted of ‘second-degree murder,’ which brought me back to a scope of things larger than sports and identity makeups that have devalued life: the NBA and its Spurs’ organization and the prosecuting team for Renisha McBride have valued life. So today, I am torn over what to rejoice about more, between the first woman entering the land of hyper-masculinity called sports or prosecuting teams opening up a land of opportunity called ‘justice for all where we mean it.’

I am not certain that organizations everywhere will continue to change the culture of circumstance by using those circumstances as a means to create a new culture, undefined, untamed by ‘circumstance.’ Though the arrival of a woman coaching an all-male sports team and the United States’ justice system taking accountability for protecting lives and laws broken is neither a ‘circumstance’ or culture-shock, it is a sudden revelation about how we literally begin to use our heartbreak as triumph. What holds these victories back are intentional misconceptions, yet what pushes us forward are both intentional and conceptual.

With that being said, I am certain that a National Basketball Association hiring a woman to not only coach a team, but one that just won its covenant team championship, is a document of approval for women everywhere to enter into male-dominated circumstances and change the dynamic of identity, tolerance, and the measure of social agency. I am certain that a man named Theodore Wafer, white and armed, being convicted of murdering a woman named Renisha McBride, black and unarmed, is a trial that makes the undocumented publicly and privately, morally and lawfully, win.

These victories are not one-in-the-same because Renisha and Becky are both women, but they are not different because Renisha is black and dead-in-cold-blood and Becky is white and physically alive; but these recent headlines are victories because both have a history of minimal-documentation on the National Agenda side-by-side, aside from when one is white and triumphing or many are black and struggling. They are victories because they work together to create a headline for the National Agenda of equality and justice and liberty, despite one not being fulfilled for them. They are victories because white and black women have together inserted each other into the male-and-white dominant discourse in corporate sports and entertainment sectors and living rooms and couches and porches as the victors, not victims.

These victories do not triumph off of the notion that we have somehow “finally made it,” but it whispers loudly, ‘We are still here at the frontline and we ourselves will see us through the headline;’ these victories do not become victories merely because we are standing here, but we stand here with the blood and sweat and tears and championships that women help men win in order to stretch land called ‘opportunities we create’.

The National Agenda is not active on the victories or victimization of so-called minorities that it has created, where race and gender are subjected to intersect, which is why there has been a line simply between majority and minority, not wins and losses. Roosevelt created the New Deal, and we received Rosie the Riveter making a muscle in the middle of another World War. President Obama thinks America wins “when women win,” yet we cannot wait for just Mrs. Michelle Obama to headline a race in Chicago, Detroit, or D.C. to begin running. Wherever there is aggression, there is transgression; wherever there is an organization out for blood, there is agency to give that and then some in order to say, ‘no more.’

Under the circumstances where an agenda has been active in creating a majority rule only for the so-called majority, it matters that Becky Hammon is a woman and Renisha McBride is a woman, a black woman, who was unarmed on a porch and murdered by a white, armed man. Under the circumstances where an agenda has been active in creating a majority rule for the so-called majorities and minorities, regardless of identity makeup, it does not matter that Hammon’s employer and employees are women, few and far between; it does not matter that McBride was black and unarmed on a white man’s porch; it does not matter that Theodore Wafer was male, white, and safe in his home with a gun; it does not matter what the National Agenda has been to devalue its occupants. It matters how its occupants are creating a new agenda that will be valued, resulting in the calling of, ‘All Men and Women To Be Created Equal.’




Sister Kahrima




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