Defender Associate Editor, Aswad Walker


We see little Ukraine being bullied by the dictator-state Russia, and we are rightfully appalled. An attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy, the rule of law, and much more. Still, Ukrainians aren’t without their issues, as we watched them push Africans to the back of the line when the “get the hell outta Dodge” busses were loading. So, I understand the hesitancy by some to sign up for Team Ukraine. However, some of our cousins are praising Putin for tweeting about Black folk being exploited by various Western nations. Really, y’all? Trump, Fox News, the GOP, and other white nationalists went from hating Russia to worshipping it as a white heaven–an all-white, global power with nukes–amid a world that demographically is growing darker, younger and more progressive by the day. Putin ain’t thinking about us. Hell, his spiritual advisor (Bishop Tikhon) has called for a global, white nationalist power alliance (a call Trump and crew answered). So, being Team Russia makes less sense. Especially since Putin is flirting with blowing up the entire planet. This conflict reminds Blackfolk that we need to be Team Wakanda, and bring humanity back to this planet.


While all eyes are on Ukraine and the world’s response, we can’t afford to take our eyes off the war at home. In case you missed it, there’s an all-out attack on Blackness. Voter suppression. Bogus gerrymandering. Burning and banning Black books. Attacking Black history, Black views, Black classes, all under the guise of the CRT Boogey-man. And even with a few convictions of cops and others who killed unarmed Black folk, we’re still being screwed by the entire criminal injustice system. And I haven’t even mentioned the ongoing medical apartheid or educational savage inequalities. Yes, we should be concerned with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And while we’re sending our prayers overseas, let’s not forget the conflicts in Ethiopia and India. But we can’t ignore what’s happening in our own backyard. Hopefully, at some point, we’ll make up our minds to do something about it.


March is Women’s History Month, that time of year when various women-led organizations facilitate programs, discussions, etc. on women’s accomplishments, challenges, and perseverance. But quiet as it’s kept, Women’s History Month isn’t just for women. Men need the information shared this month too. Sexism is still a thing. Gender pay inequity is alive and well. The human trafficking of women and girls is still a horrible reality. Maybe if men challenged other men to pay attention to Herstory, more of us would be committed to creating a society where women, especially Black women, receive the honor and respect due. So, for all you bruhs out there who have mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, aunties, wives, and female friends, let’s be all-in this Women’s History Month.

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...