As my friend Jerry Coyne points out sharply in Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why is a role model reviled? « Why Evolution Is True, prominent women defending human rights are, indeed, reviled and at the least verbally assaulted.
One crisp, fine answer came from Cicely Tyson, in yesterday’s Daily News article about the Black Girls Rock! event held in Newark, New Jersey a few nights ago
First lady: ‘Black Girls Rock!’ – NY Daily News.
Our First Lady, of course, got star billing–and apparently delivered a star speech–but a number of other notable black women (and men, too, i.e., Will Smith) also spoke.
I read through the whole article, and found this bang-on comment from Ms. Tyson:
Tyson also spoke to the resiliency of black women as she accepted her legacy award from hosts actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King.
“The moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you in any way, you have to know how great you are,” Tyson said. “Nobody would bother to beat you down if you were not a threat.”
And that pretty much answers Jerry’s question.