Activists apologize for ‘colonialist’ $14.92 donation email
The group behind the anti-Trump ‘pussy hat’ march has apologized to donors for soliciting donations of $14.92 in an email. The number was apparently taken by some as a reference to Columbus’ trans-Atlantic voyage.
“We apologize deeply for the email that was sent today. $14.92 was our average donation amount this week,” the Women’s March group tweeted. “It was an oversight on our part to not make the connection to a year of colonization, conquest, and genocide for Indigenous people, especially before Thanksgiving.”
We apologize deeply for the email that was sent today. $14.92 was our average donation amount this week. It was an oversight on our part to not make the connection to a year of colonization, conquest, and genocide for Indigenous people, especially before Thanksgiving.
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) November 23, 2021
The email in question reportedly cited the presumably problematic sum in the subject line and encouraged recipients to donate the same amount. 1492 is the year when the first expedition led by Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic to discover a number of Caribbean islands, including Cuba and Hispaniola.
Women’s March was founded in 2017 in response to the election of Donald Trump as the US president. That year, it managed to organize a record-breaking protest on the day following his inauguration. The activists used pink ‘pussy hats’ as a visual symbol of their attitude to the GOP politician, whom they consider to be a misogynistic, bigoted person.
The organization’s mission statement says it is “committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.”
The apology drew a lot of mockery from the right. Tweets like the one posted by Women’s March make life challenging for the conservative satirical news website Babylon Bee, its senior writer, Frank Fleming, remarked. “It’s like trying to satirize a comedy,” he said.
This is the challenge for The Babylon Bee with all the woke stuff; it’s like trying to satirize a comedy. https://t.co/EgzsZLyxIJ
— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) November 23, 2021
Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary under George W. Bush, suggested that donors should “chip in and raise the amount to $17.76” to make the group lose their minds. He was referring to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Let’s all chip in and raise the amount to $17.76. Then they’ll really lose their minds. https://t.co/Y9VKt65zI5
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) November 23, 2021
One response lampooned the premise of the apology by pointing out that it was timestamped 19:33. In 1933, Adolf Hitler became the leader of Germany, setting the country’s course towards committing unspeakable atrocities under the Nazi regime.
Increased political attention towards specific years in US history rose with the 1619 Project by the New York Times. Named after the year when the first African slaves were shipped on American soil, it sought to reframe US history through a lens of entrenched racism. Some proponents of that view argue that 1619 should be considered the year that America was founded, which their conservative opponents hotly contest.
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