Racist Comments About Serena Williams’ Pregnancy Show A Sad Trend For Black Moms
Her announcement was met with much support from fans who relish in watching the champion win on and off the court. (Bye, Drake!)
And yet waiting on a racist comment to pop up about her pregnancy was, unfortunately, like waiting on the sun to come up.
Romanian tennis vet, Ilie Năstase, commented on Serena’s baby during a press conference, reported NewsOne.
He said in the Romanian language,
“Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?”
Yes, he referred to the human in Serena’s belly as an “it” and joked about the baby being of mixed race.
The moment highlights a trend with black pregnant women in the public eye. They often face insensitive commentary about things concerning their pregnancy that their white female peers do not.
Not even Queen Beyoncé could avoid criticism of her pregnancy.
She announced her pregnancy and think pieces immediately flew out with overgenerous word counts full of baseless critiques.
Refinery 29 called her photo shoot “tacky.” A UK writer shared that Beyoncé “isn’t what pregnancy looks like.” You know, because pregnancy has a “look.”
According to the writer, she should have “back fat and acne,” “stretch marks” and a “haggard face.” The writer then pointed toward a pregnant (and yes, white) Vanity Fair cover shoot of Demi Moore, for a more realistic view of pregnancy.
You know, sans Moore’s made-up face, staged pose and similarly built body.
Another writer wrote that Beyoncé should not be celebrated because “having a baby isn’t a miracle and doesn’t make you a goddess.” But you tell that to a woman who has lost a child, or who has been trying and failing to conceive or who has gone through 20 plus hours of labor and finally holds the child she pushed for the first time.
One writer even suggests that Beyoncé shouldn’t have made a social media announcement because it can make women who aren’t pregnant feel bad.
And then there’s singer, Ciara.
The woman can’t get a break.
She was dragged on social media for allowing her then-fiance, now-husband, Russell Wilson, to keep company with her toddler son, Future, from a previous relationship with rapper of the same name.
Now, Ciara is being ridiculed for being pregnant by her, um, husband.
And of course, people picked apart her nude pregnancy shoot for Harper’s Bazaar because: Trolls.
Non-famous pregnant black women experience the same lack of compassion.
Pregnancy can already be a stressful experience. There are cravings, swollen body parts, aching backs, morning (afternoon and night) barf sessions and more.
While pregnancy-related deaths have significantly dropped worldwide over centuries, thanks to advancements in technology, 600 women still die each year during child birth in the United States, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The pregnancy-related death rate in the United States is also the only one on a list of developing countries that has risen and not dropped in recent years, reports Newsweek.
Pair that with the reality of biased healthcare treatment black women are more prone to receiving. In a 2012 study conducted by ChildbirthConnection.org, 21 percent of black mothers say they received poor treatment in a healthcare facility, compared to eight percent of white mothers.
And then there was the sobering study done at the University of Virginia, in which white medical students admitted to racial bias in their pain assessments of black people.
Add all of this up and you’ve got a race of women who aren’t just being berated on Twitter; they’re being neglected in medical facilities during a time when they need the most care.
From Twitter trolls to racist comments at press conferences to birthing tables, our attitudes toward expecting black women are not as sensitive as they are to white women.
It’s racist AF and we need to make it stop.
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