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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 5, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Self-policing as an African-American man

Women have to do the same

Yes, black men must be careful where they go, how they dress, what they say. [“Guest column: The racial self-policing that African-American men already do,” Opinion, July 30.]

However, black women, and all women of all races, colors and ages, have had to do this for millennia.

I must be careful wherever I go to not dress in clothes men think are provocative. I must be careful about going in areas where I could be groped, even on public transportation.

I must be careful about my demeanor around my boss, as he might take advantage of our power differential to make advances. Women have had to be careful even in our homes, with abusive partners and spouses.

This is not to lessen what a black man must go through to walk safely through his life, but women have been concerned about their safety from men of all colors for a very long time.

While so much is written about this new black-male awareness, please do not forget about the even more pervasive awareness a woman in this society must live.

Nancy Coomer, Seattle

Comments | Topics: african-american, black, female

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