Black Women Come to Waters’s Defense

Elder stateswoman Maxine Waters has been defended by Black women in the storm of controversy.

Elder stateswoman Maxine Waters has been defended by Black women while in the storm of controversy.

By Free Radical

In a letter that includes nearly 200 signatures, Black women have expressed their “profound indignation” of how the Democratic Party has treated California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Addressed to Senator Minority Leader, Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Peolosi, they accuse both party leaders of failing to protect Waters after she made statements that encouraged people to protest members of the Trump cabinet who have orchestrated and promoted the separation of immigrant families.

Waters has been the target of Trump attacks for more than a year, but Schumer and Pelosi both condemned Waters remarks at a recent Los Angeles rally. Waters urged opponents of Trump’s immigration policies to “get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them [Trump cabinet members], and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” Her speech came in the wake of crowds that heckled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders while they dined in D.C. area restaurants.

The letter was authored by “Black Women Leaders and Allies,” primarily women who are non-Congressional politicians, academics, organizers, and a handful of Black men who have pledged their support.

The letter asked that Waters be issued an apology and a promise to protect her as she has been the target of death threats and even had to cancel two speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama last week. Calling on the examples of political foremothers Shirley Chisolm, Barbara Jordan, Dorothy Height among others for the sake of posterity, the letter also reminded Democrats that it is in their own interest to support Black women as they will soon face a competitive midterm election cycle. Black women have been the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting bloc and the petition wants to ensure that this support is warranted.

Since the release of the petition, Pelosi has responded in a prepared statement that read, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a valued leader whose passionate call for family reunification should be heard without any threats to her safety.” She continued, by insisting that “Donald Trump should stop his attacks on Congresswoman Waters and all Members of Congress, the free press, and all Americans who have the right and the responsibility to speak their minds.”

It looks like Pelosi and other members of the Democratic Party have heard the clarion call loud and clear.

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