Advice Abortion

Get Real! Accessing Abortion When You Need Funding and a Judicial Bypass

Heather Corinna

What can you do when you need an abortion, but you're a minor in a state where you need parental permission  you probably can't get and you don't have money? Here are some initial steps.

Published in partnership with Scarleteen
FaithS asks:

I am 16 years old and already have a 7 month old baby. My son has a lot of health problems, he was born with a lung disease and has holes in his heart. I recently found out I was pregnant again and I’m not for sure how to go about it. I’ve only told one person and that’s my older sister. I know for sure that I do not want to keep the baby but I don’t have enough money for abortion and if I tell my dad it could turn out very bad. I live in Kentucky, and I am trying to figure out how to go about a judicial bypass and an abortion but I need help with money.

Heather Corinna replies: I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s health problems, Faith. It’s hard enough being a very young parent without the rights of an adult, let alone doing so when your child has serious health problems. It also seems like you might not have a very supportive family, so from the sounds of things, you’ve had it really rough for a while now. I really want that to change for you. I’m going to offer all I can to help you here.

As it sounds like you already know, in your state you can’t obtain an abortion as a minor without the consent of at least one parent or guardian or a judicial bypass. That’s not impossible—it is often doable—but if you do think you can get a legal guardian or parent’s consent safely, then I’d suggest you do try that first. That is certainly the more efficient route, and is often easier in most ways.

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I don’t know what you mean when you say that if you told your father, things could turn out very badly.

If you mean you already are, would be, or might be in danger of abuse, I’d strongly encourage you to contact social services. In Kentucky, the hotline for child abuse or neglect—the child in this case being you—is (877) 597-2331. I suggest this because if you’re already living with abuse or under threat of abuse, I want you to at least find out about your other options so you don’t continue to live that way if you don’t have to. I don’t want you to have to live in danger, and no matter what happens with this pregnancy, it may be that you have other support and living options you don’t know about and which might mean a better way for you and your son to live moving forward, maybe even starting right this second.

Also, if disclosing this pregnancy to your father, or asking him for permission for an abortion, is something that would put your safety or life at risk, then by all means, that is not something you want to do. Instead, it will be safer for you to contact other help first and explore your other options, which I’ll give in detail for you.

I understand you don’t have the money to pay for an abortion. Normally (I’ll explain a bit more of that process below), before you seek out abortion funds, you’ll need to start by already having a scheduled appointment for an abortion at a clinic. But, given all of your circumstances, particularly since we may also be talking about needing a judicial bypass, I contacted a friend of mine who works in abortion funding to check in about your specific situation.

She suggested you start by first contacting the Kentucky Health Justice Network. It’s toll-free hotline number is (855) 576-4576.

It’s an independent advocacy group for your state that works to connect people in Kentucky to reproductive health-care information and services, including abortion and abortion funding, transportation, and other assistance.

There’s an email address for the group on its website, too, if you prefer emailing to calling. If so, I’d suggest sending an email telling them about your situation, like you did for us here, adding as many details as you can, so they have as full a picture as possible—for instance, what the deal is with your dad (including if there is any abuse or threat of abuse in your home), if you do or don’t have another parent or legal guardian you could get permission from, what your financial situation is, and if the person involved in either the consensual sex or assault when you became pregnant this time still is or isn’t in the picture. If it was or was not consensual sex is also very important information to include. A little more information is better than less when it comes to services of this kind. That way they’ll have a good idea of what they can or can’t do for you right from the start, as well as the best way to help you any way they can, or who it’s best to next direct you to.

It might be that they can be the people to take you through all the rest of these steps, including helping you with a judicial bypass, if needed, any possible additional funding, and transportation to and from the clinic.

In the event that they can’t, or you want to know another route you could take with this, the way this most typically works is that first you’d start with an abortion provider.

They not only are the people who actually provide abortion services, they also are usually the first step in seeking out funding options—to get abortion funds when there are some, you will usually first need to have an appointment for an abortion—and can fill you in, too, on the process of judicial bypass.

These are the abortion providers in your state:

  • EMW Women’s Clinic, Lexington, Kentucky
    phone: (859) 278-0331 or (800) 432-9327 (KY)
  • EMW Women’s Surgical Center, Louisville, Kentucky
    phone: (502) 589-2124 or (800) 292-2189 (KY)

They make clear on their website that they give information about judicial bypass to patients if they call in. You can just call whichever of the two is closest to you first if you’d prefer to start all of this with a provider.

There are also two Planned Parenthood branches in Kentucky. They do not provide abortions, but they do provide abortion referrals and options services, so they’re another resource to start with if you like. Those branches are:

  • Bluegrass Health Center, 508 W 2nd Street, Lexington, KY 40508
    phone: (859) 252-8494
  • Louisville Health Center, 1025 S 2nd Street, Louisville, KY 40203
    phone: (502) 584-2473

I know that on top of all the other challenges you’re facing, if all of these places are far from where you live, that may look like another huge hurdle. It might well pose extra challenges, but I’d not let that dissuade you from making these initial calls or emails to look into the termination you want. Travel—just like judicial bypass and funding—can be made doable, even if you yourself don’t have a car or anyone in your life to drive you right now.

So, I’d just start by contacting either the Kentucky Health Justice Network or one of those abortion providers or one of those Planned Parenthood branches—whichever you like. I know it might seem like contacting all of them is a best way to tackle this, but it’d be most sound to just start with one and follow their lead from there.

All of them, I assure you, want to do what they can to help you make the choice you want to here, so any of them are going to be on your side and be a potentially great advocate and helper for you.

Per the judicial bypass specifically, any of those resources might refer you to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Kentucky. If so, know they’re good people too, people who are very invested in your rights to all reproductive choices (even though some politicians in your state aren’t). They’ll do all they can to legally help you out. Here’s a page from the ACLU of Kentucky on your rights with judicial bypass, if you’d like to take a look:

Just so you’re prepared, with the process of seeking out abortion funds specifically, you might wind up getting a lot of busy signals, or having to wait a day or two to hear back from people; that’s normal, and doesn’t mean anyone is ignoring you or that this can’t all be made to work out for you. it just means that all of these services tend to be very underfunded and understaffed, and have a lot of people calling in for help, that’s all.

If you want to start with an abortion provider directly, and can get to them in person, they can see you to do a pregnancy test and ultrasound to see how far along you are (which can tell you what you’d need in terms of abortion care and cost ahead of time), and if they provide options such as counseling and other practical help, like advice about the bypass process, they can provide you with those things in person too. The law only limits them from providing you an abortion itself without parental consent, not from providing you these other services.

If they’re within reach of you, even just being able to talk to someone else in person right now who understands, who supports you, and who’s knowledgeable about all you need to know could give you a great deal of comfort at a time when it sounds like you sure could use it. If that sounds good to you, I’d make an appointment to go in and see them face-to-face.

You will want to get a move on with taking steps to look into all of this. I know that with all you’re dealing with already, another pregnancy must feel tremendously overwhelming all by itself. Hearing that you need to hurry things up is probably the last thing you want to hear. However, the process of judicial bypass, if that’s what you’ll need to do, can take a while, which means you can get later into a pregnancy, making a termination more and more costly, and sometimes tougher to obtain.

I don’t say any of that to make you panic; the last thing I want is for you to have any more stress or strain. I only say it because if a termination is something you want and need, to make it happen, you’re going to have to move on these steps quickly. I’d hate for you to take time you thought you had only to later discover you didn’t move fast enough.

Let me also give you the brief skinny on abortion funding, so if some parts of this are things you can get started with sooner rather than later, you can get going with that too.

In the United States, there is a ban (the Hyde Amendment, if you’re curious) on federal funding for abortion. In some states, there are ways through the state, public health, or some private insurance to get abortion paid for, partially or completely. In Kentucky, funding for abortion—often even with private insurance—is only available in cases when the pregnancy has occurred because of sexual abuse or assault, or when the mother’s life is in danger because of a pregnancy. However, there are independent national or state funds available to help you pay for an abortion.

Generally, the people who manage those independent funds will first ask about what money of your own you have to put toward a termination, especially since no fund or combination of funds is likely to be able to cover the whole cost of a procedure.

It sounds like, right now, particularly given the situation you’re in as a teen mother with an infant who has severe health problems, the answer to the question of what money you have yourself may be that you’ve got little or none. It wouldn’t be surprising. Given you’re a minor, you probably don’t have any of your own money from work, and even if you do have a source of income, it may already all be allocated to the care of your son.

If that’s the case, you’re going to need to see what you can do to raise some money so you at least have something to throw into the pot.

Most often, when we’re trying to raise money for an abortion, we’ll look to the following possible sources:

• any money you already have
• picking up extra hours or shifts, if you can, at a job to make some extra cash
• anything you can sell if you have anything of value you can hock and live without (even CDs, books, or clothing that seem worthless to you can be things we can at least get a little something for at secondhand or consignment shops)
• whoever you had sex with (if this was consensual sex) which resulted in the pregnancy
• friends, or even friends of friends
• family members, be they close or extended family, or the friends of family members (like, perhaps, some of your sister’s friends)

Even if you can find just ten people who can give you ten or 20 bucks each, then find a way to come up with $50 or so on your own, you can already have a very good start to either get the ball rolling with additional money from abortion funds, or, in the case you can’t access that funding, or don’t wind up needing to, to pay for an abortion yourself. I know it can feel scary to ask for help with this, but if this is something you want and need, you’ll probably need to. I think it’s safe to say most of us who have needed an abortion have had to ask for outside help with money for one. Just stick to people you know are safe for you to ask, even if they might not have anything to give.

I also want to make sure you know—especially if, even though it sounds like an abortion is what you want most, abortion turns out to be outside your reach—that you have another option besides parenting another child when that’s not what you want or can handle.

You also have the option of arranging an adoption. Obviously, that means you would have to remain pregnant, which might not be what you want. I also don’t know how you feel about adoption in general, or as a particular choice for you right now.

But I do know that just like abortion or parenting are valid choices, so is adoption. And an arranged adoption usually means all of the expenses of a pregnancy and delivery are covered, so that’s not something you’d have to worry about, and adoption doesn’t involve you needing to come up with any money at all in order to avoid parenting another child. On top of that, it can potentially mean you get some extra help and support during your pregnancy that might help you with some of the other challenging parts of your life right now.

I don’t say that to sway you from the decision to terminate if that’s what you want and an abortion is something you can access. I respect and support whatever choice with this pregnancy you feel is the best one for you, is what you want, and is doable for you, and that certainly includes abortion. Instead, I’m putting adoption out there as a second possible choice for you with this pregnancy—a choice in which you would not have to parent another child, and which would probably be within reach for you if it turns out an abortion is not.

Adoption is something you could talk to any of the resources I listed for you to contact above, at any time, if you wanted or needed to consider it. Any of those places could connect you to the right people to look into or pursue that choice.

Hopefully I don’t need to say this, but I’m going to just in case: I know in situations like this a person can feel incredibly desperate and scared. So much so that sometimes people will try and do things to themselves, or through sketchy avenues, to terminate a pregnancy outside safe, legal, and medical abortion providers and services. In the event you’re thinking about that or at any time find yourself thinking about that, please rule those ideas out, even if the alternatives seem more scary. Doing yourself potential harm just isn’t a good answer, and not just because the son you have needs you, but because your life and health matters. You’re important. If nothing else, hurting yourself—and DIY abortion attempts can really do big harm, as well as typically not even terminating pregnancies in the first place—can only add more challenges for you in your already challenging life. They can even end your life before you get to a time when things are way less rough and hard than they are now, which I’d like to see you get to, and I’m sure you’d like to get to yourself most of all.

Lastly, know that either with or after an abortion, you can obtain a highly effective method of contraception, potentially one even paid for through public health services if you do not have private insurance that covers birth control. You can get an IUD inserted after an abortion, for example, or can obtain methods at an abortion clinic like the birth control pill, ring, or implant. You likely can also ask for, and get, a packet or two of emergency contraception to keep on hand should any other method you use ever fail or seem like it may have failed. And you can access contraception without parental permission or notification.

That way, when you leave the procedure, you also get to leave knowing that you have a lot of power to prevent struggling through this kind of situation ever again, and a lot more power to only become pregnant again if and when that’s something you want. I think having that ability would obviously be a great thing for you on the whole since another pregnancy clearly isn’t something you want anytime soon, if at all; I also think it would give you a feeling of security and some extra relief from worry that I know you’d benefit from with everything you already have on your plate.

With any of this, I’d be more than happy to talk with you more if you want at any time via our message boards or our live chat service. You can even email me to schedule a time to do that if you’d like. If you want to get more information from me now before you even make calls, we can do that, or we can be an extra resource for you throughout any of this process—whatever winds up going on, and whatever you choose—as you like, be it this week or months from now.

I’m going to leave you with a few more links, on our site and elsewhere, I think might be helpful for you. Again, please don’t hesitate to ask for more help or to talk if you need it, and I can’t say strongly enough how very much I am wishing for the very, very best for you and your son.

Commentary Politics

Is Clinton a Progressive? Not If She Chooses Tim Kaine

Jodi Jacobson

The selection of Tim Kaine as vice president would be the first signal that Hillary Clinton intends to seek progressive votes but ignore progressive values and goals, likely at her peril, and ours.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton has frequently claimed to be a progressive, though she often adds the unnecessary and bewildering caveat that she’s a “progressive who likes to get things done.” I’ve never been sure what that is supposed to mean, except as a possible prelude to or excuse for giving up progressive values to seal some unknown deal in the future; as a way of excusing herself from fighting for major changes after she is elected; or as a way of saying progressives are only important to her campaign until after they leave the voting booth.

One of the first signals of whether Clinton actually believes in a progressive agenda will be her choice of running mate. Reports are that Sen. Tim Kaine, former Virginia governor, is the top choice. The selection of Kaine would be the first signal that Clinton intends to seek progressive votes but ignore progressive values and goals, likely at her peril, and ours.

We’ve seen this happen before. In 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama claimed to be a progressive. By virtue of having a vision for and promise of real change in government and society, and by espousing transparency and responsibility, he won by a landslide. In fact, Obama even called on his supporters, including the millions activated by the campaign’s Organizing for Action (OFA), to keep him accountable throughout his term. Immediately after the election, however, “progressives” were out and the right wing of the Democratic party was “in.”

Obama’s cabinet members in both foreign policy and the economy, for example, were drawn from the center and center-right of the party, leaving many progressives, as Mother Jones’ David Corn wrote in the Washington Post in 2009, “disappointed, irritated or fit to be tied.” Obama chose Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff, a man with a reputation from the days of Bill Clinton’s White House for a reluctance to move bold policies—lest they upset Wall Street or conservative Democrats—and a deep disdain for progressives. With Emanuel as gatekeeper of policies and Valerie Jarrett consumed with the “Obama Brand” (whatever that is), the White House suddenly saw “progressives” as the problem.

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It became clear that instead of “the change we were hoping for,” Obama had started on an impossible quest to “cooperate” and “compromise” on bad policies with the very party that set out to destroy him before he was even sworn in. Obama and Emanuel preempted efforts to push for a public option for health-care reform, despite very high public support at the time. Likewise, the White House failed to push for other progressive policies that would have been a slam dunk, such as the Employee Free Choice Act, a major goal of the labor movement that would have made it easier to enroll workers in unions. With a 60-vote Democratic Senate majority, this progressive legislation could easily have passed. Instead, the White House worked to support conservative Democrat then-Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s efforts to kill it, and even sent Vice President Joe Biden to Arkansas to campaign for her in her run for re-election. She lost anyway.

They also allowed conservatives to shelve plans for an aggressive stimulus package in favor of a much weaker one, for the sole sake of “bipartisanship,” a move that many economists have since criticized for not doing enough.  As I wrote years ago, these decisions were not only deeply disappointing on a fundamental level to those of us who’d put heart and soul into the Obama campaign, but also, I personally believe, one of the main reasons Obama later lost the midterms and had a hard time governing.  He was not elected to implement GOP lite, and there was no “there, there” for the change that was promised. Many people deeply devoted to making this country better for working people became fed up.

Standing up for progressive principles is not so hard, if you actually believe in them. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D- MA) is a progressive who actually puts her principles into action, like the creation against all odds in 2011 of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, perhaps the single most important progressive achievement of the past 20 years. Among other things, the CFPB  shields consumers from the excesses of mortgage lenders, student loan servicers, and credit card companies that have caused so much economic chaos in the past decade. So unless you are more interested in protecting the status quo than addressing the root causes of the many problems we now face, a progressive politician would want a strong progressive running mate.

By choosing Tim Kaine as her vice president, Clinton will signal that she values progressives in name and vote only.

As Zach Carter wrote in the Huffington Post, Kaine is “setting himself up as a figure willing to do battle with the progressive wing of the party.” Kaine is in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement largely negotiated in secret and by corporate lobbyists. Both Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose voters Clinton needs to win over, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren oppose the TPP because, in Warren’s words, it “would tilt the playing field even more in favor of … big multinational corporations and against working families.”

The progressive agenda includes strong emphasis on effective systems of governance and oversight of banks and financial institutions—the actors responsible, as a result of deregulation, for the major financial crises of the past 16 years, costing the United States trillions of dollars and gutting the financial security of many middle-class and low-income people.

As Warren has stated:

Washington turned a blind eye as risks were packaged and re-packaged, magnified, and then sold to unsuspecting pension funds, municipal governments, and many others who believed the markets were honest. Not long after the cops were blindfolded and the big banks were turned loose, the worst crash since the 1930s hit the American economy—a crash that the Dallas Fed estimates has cost a collective $14 trillion. The moral of this story is simple: Without basic government regulation, financial markets don’t work. That’s worth repeating: Without some basic rules and accountability, financial markets don’t work. People get ripped off, risk-taking explodes, and the markets blow up. That’s just an empirical fact—clearly observable in 1929 and again in 2008. The point is worth repeating because, for too long, the opponents of financial reform have cast this debate as an argument between the pro-regulation camp and the pro-market camp, generally putting Democrats in the first camp and Republicans in the second. But that so-called choice gets it wrong. Rules are not the enemy of markets. Rules are a necessary ingredient for healthy markets, for markets that create competition and innovation. And rolling back the rules or firing the cops can be profoundly anti-market.

If Hillary Clinton were actually a progressive, this would be key to her agenda. If so, Tim Kaine would be a curious choice as VP, and a middle finger of sorts to those who support financial regulations. In the past several weeks, Kaine has been publicly advocating for greater deregulation of banks. As Carter reported yesterday, “Kaine signed two letters on Monday urging federal regulators to go easy on banks―one to help big banks dodge risk management rules, and another to help small banks avoid consumer protection standards.”

Kaine is also trying to portray himself as “anti-choice lite.” For example, he recently signed onto the Women’s Health Protection Act. But as we’ve reported, as governor of Virginia, Kaine supported restrictions on abortion, such as Virginia’s parental consent law and a so-called informed consent law, which, he claimed in 2008, gave “women information about a whole series of things, the health consequences, et cetera, and information about adoption.” In truth, the information such laws mandate giving out is often “irrelevant or misleading,” according to the the Guttmacher Institute. In other words, like many others who let ideology rather than public health guide their policy decisions, Kaine put in place policies that are not supported by the evidence and that make it more difficult for women to gain access to abortion, steps he has not denounced. This is unacceptable. The very last thing we need is another person in the White House who further stigmatizes abortion, though it must be said Clinton herself seems chronically unable to speak about abortion without euphemism.

While there are many other reasons a Kaine pick would signal a less-than-secure and values-driven Clinton presidency, the fact also stands that he is a white male insider at a time when the rising electorate is decidedly not white and quite clearly looking for strong leadership and meaningful change. Kaine is not the change we seek.

The conventional wisdom these days is that platforms are merely for show and vice presidential picks don’t much matter. I call foul; that’s an absolutely cynical lens through which to view policies. What you say and with whom you affiliate yourself do indeed matter. And if Clinton chooses Kaine, we know from the outset that progressives have a fight on their hands, not only to avoid the election of an unapologetic fascist, but to ensure that the only person claiming the progressive mantle actually means what she says.

Commentary Race

Have a Problem With Black-Only Spaces? Get Over It

Ruth Jeannoel

As the parade of police killings of Black people continues, Black people have a right to mourn together—and without white people.

This piece is published in collaboration with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together project.

Dear Non-Black People:

If you hear about a healing space being organized for Black folks only, don’t question or try to be part of that space.

Simply, DON’T.

After again witnessing the recorded killings of Black people by police, I am trying to show up for my family, my community, and victims such as Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I am tired of injustice and ready for action.

But as a Black trans youth from the Miami, Florida-based S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective told me, “Before taking action, we must create space for healing.” With this comment, they led us in the right direction.

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Together, this trans young person, my fellow organizers, and I planned a Black-only community healing circle in Miami. We recognized a need for Black people to come together and care for each other. A collective space to heal is better than suffering and grieving alone.

As we began mobilizing people to attend the community circle, our efforts were met with confusion and resistance by white and Latinx people alike. Social media comments questioned why there needed to be a Black-only space and alleged that such an event was “not fair” and exclusionary.

We know the struggle against white supremacy is a multiracial movement and needs all people. So we planned and shared that there would be spaces for non-Black people of color and white people at the same time. We explained that this particular healing circle—and the fight against police violence—must be centered around Blackness.

But there was still blowback. One Facebook commenter wrote,

Segregation and racial separation is not acceptable. Disappointing.

That is straight bullshit.

To be clear, Black-only space is itself acceptable, and there’s a difference between Black people choosing to come together and white people systematically excluding others from their institutions and definitions of humanity.

But as I recognize that Black people can’t have room to mourn by ourselves without white tears, white shame, white guilt—and, yes, white supremacy—I am angry.

That is what racist laws have often tried to do: Control how Black people assemble. Enslaved people were often barred from gathering, unless it was with white consent or for church.

Even today, we see resistance when Black folks come together, for a variety of reasons. Earlier this year, in Nashville, Tennessee, Black Lives Matter activists were forced to move their meeting out of a library because it was a Black-only meeting. Last year, students at University of Missouri held a series of protests to demand an end to systemic racism and structural racism on their campus. The student group, Concerned Students 1950, called for their own Black-only-healing space, and they too received backlash from their white counterparts and the media.

At our healing circle in Miami, a couple of white people tried to be part of the Black-only space, which was held in another room. One of the white youths came late and asked why she had to be in a different room from Black attendees. I asked her this question: Do you feel like you are treated the same as your Black peers when they walk down the street?

When she answered no, I told her that difference made it important for Black people to connect without white people in the room. We talked about how to engage in political study that can shape how we view—and change—this world.

She understood. It was simple.

I have less compassion for adults who are doing social justice work and who do not understand. If you do not recognize your privilege as a non-Black person, then you need to reassess why you are in this movement.

Are you here to save the world? Do you feel guilty because of what your family may have done in the past or present? Are you marching to show that you are a “good” person?

If you are organizing to shift and shake up white supremacy but can’t understand your privilege under this construct, then this movement is not for you.

For the white folk and non-Black people of color who are sincerely fighting the anti-Blackness at the root of most police killings, get your people. Many of them are “progressive” allies with whom I’ve been in meetings, rallies, or protests. It is time for you to organize actions and events for yourselves to challenge each other on anti-Blackness and identify ways to fight against racial oppression, instead of asking to be in Black-only spaces.

Objecting to a Black-only space is about self-interest and determining who gets to participate. And it shows how little our allies understand that white supremacy gives European-descended people power, privilege, and profit—or that non-Black people of color often also benefit from white supremacy just because they aren’t Black in this anti-Black world.

Our critics were using racial privilege to access a space that was not for them or by them. In the way that white supremacy and capitalism are about individualism and racing to the top, they were putting their individual feelings, rights, and power above Black people’s rights to fellowship and talk about how racism has affected them.

We deserve Black-only community healing because this is our pain. We are the ones who are most frequently affected by police violence and killings. And we know there is a racial empathy gap, which means that white Americans, in particular, are less likely to feel our pain. And the last thing Black people need right now is to be in a room with people who can’t or won’t try to comprehend, who make our hurt into a spectacle, or who deny it with their defensiveness.

Our communal responses to that pain and healing are not about you. And non-Black people can’t determine the agenda for Black action—or who gets a seat at our table.

To Black folks reading this article, just know that we deserve to come together to cry, be angry, be confused, and be ready to fight without shame, pain, or apologies.

And, actually, we don’t need to explain this, any more than we need to explain that Black people are oppressed in this country.