Tarana Burke started the #MeToo movement years before 2017’s numerous allegations of sexual misconduct across Hollywood, politics, and various other industries. Time Magazine recently announced that Silence Breakers and the #MeToo movement were chosen as the Person of the Year. We asked Burke about the movement and why she says she would never meet with President Donald Trump if she had the opportunity. Following is a transcript of the video.
Tarana Burke: Donald Trump has proven to be the kind of person who you can’t reason with, and who you can’t have a logical conversation with, and who I can’t imagine having a heart-to-heart conversation thinking that I would change something specifically about this person.
None of the evidence that I’ve seen in the last year shows me that that would be even worth my time. So I don’t know that I would sit down and have a conversation with him. Just to have him not change.
I’m interested in talking to people and dealing with people who are set and ready for change and action. Who get it. And who are looking for solutions. And I don’t think that he’s one of those people.
A lot of people started off this year feeling a sense of hopelessness, because we had a president in our office who was self-admitted to be a sexual predator. Somebody who said out of their own mouth that they described in detail how they go about violating women.
As a woman, as an American citizen, that is disheartening to know that the person who is the leader of your country thinks like that and operates like that. And we’ve gone from that to the Women’s March, to now this #MeToo moment, and several things in between. In ways I think that it has emboldened women and empowered us to step up and amplify our voices even louder.
And so to end the year with Silence Breakers, people that as a result of this #MeToo movement, is just really … ummm … I don’t know if I have the accurate word … but it’s badass!