Trump Administration’s ‘Attack on Black Women’ Evident, Says Congresswoman

Recent incidents involving Maxine Waters, April Ryan and Susan Rice echo the treatment of Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama has spoken candidly about her experience as the nation’s first African American first lady, including the racist and sexist insults hurled at her by Republican politicians and pundits.

During her 2015 commencement address at Tuskegee University in Alabama, she said:

“Over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited ‘a little bit of uppity-ism.’ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s ‘cronies of color.’ Cable news once charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s baby mama.’”

Last week, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) suggested that the racist scrutiny the former first lady was subjected to (during which time Obama nonetheless remained determined to live out loud so that people could see her authentic self) is publicly reemerging.

Lee pointed to a pattern of behavior toward Black women including Susan Rice, who served as former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser; Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.); and journalist April Ryan.

Lee tweeted on Wednesday:

Five U.S. intelligence officials have said that Rice followed standard procedure in requesting the National Security Agency to reveal to her the names of American citizens who had been in contact with Russians whose communications were monitored by U.S. intelligence, according to Reuters.

The officials said it is unlikely she would have known that any unidentified American had a connection to President Donald Trump.

 In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on April 4, Rice said the allegations made against her are false.

“The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” she said. “That’s absolutely false.”

But Trump and his allies have focused on unsubstantiated reports that Rice disclosed the names of Trump aides swept up in U.S. surveillance of foreign targets. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton has referred to Rice as “the Typhoid Mary of the Obama Administration.”

The president said on Wednesday he thinks Rice committed a crime, but he declined requests for evidence, The New York Times reported.

He also declined to say in the interview whether he had reviewed intelligence to bolster his claim about Rice but said he would explain himself “at the right time.”

The day before President Trump stated his claim against Rice, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Mike Cernovich, who runs the alt-right website, deserves a Pulitzer Prize for a blog post he wrote accusing Rice of unethical practices.

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Donald Trump Jr. Praises Alt-Right Misogynist for Attacking Susan Rice

Trump Jr. said Mike Cernovich, known for once tweeting "date rape does not exist," deserves Pulitzer for attacking Susan Rice.

Cernovich, who refers to himself as a “lawyer, author, free speech activist, and documentary filmmaker,” has a history of racist and sexist tweets. He once tweeted advice on how to “slut shame” Black women.

According to CNN, he said in February 2016 in a now deleted tweet:

“Not being a slut is the only proven way to avoid AIDS. If you love Black women, slut shame them.”

 Cernovich’s articles, which “60 Minutes” called “fake,” have been promoted on Twitter by Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned in February as the president’s national security adviser.

During the same New York Times interview in which Trump made accusations against Rice, he also came to the defense of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

“I don’t think Bill did anything wrong,” Trump stated in regard to the revelation that the TV host; Fox News; and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, paid $13 million to five women to settle claims he sexually harassed them.

The week prior to the Fox News scandal, O’Reilly made a sexist and racist comment against Waters. A veteran politician, Waters was elected to her 13th term in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2014 and serves as a ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services.

While watching footage on “Fox & Friends” of Waters giving her speech on the House floor, O’Reilly mocked her by raising his fist and mouthing the words, “Right on.”

And when asked his opinion of the congresswoman’s comments, O’Reilly replied: “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”

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Rep. Waters

Bill O’Reilly's Racist Remark on Congresswoman's Hair Rebuked

The Fox News host's comment about Rep. Maxine Waters is "no laughing matter," rather "a well-worn diversion and act of denigration," a Rutgers women's and gender studies professor told DiversityInc.

Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd, an associate professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, told DiversityInc, “For people like O’Reilly, a Black congresswoman is read as threatening and counter to his very being.”

The same day Waters was insulted, during a news conference White House press secretary Sean Spicer accused April Ryan, a correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, of having a biased agenda. He told her at one point to “stop shaking your head” as he was answering her question.

As a result of Waters and Ryan’s shared experiences, the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork began trending on Twitter. Black women used the hashtag to share experiences of racial discrimination while at the workplace.

Waters tweeted:

I am a strong Black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I’m not going anywhere. #BlackWomenAtWork

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Spicer defended his actions toward Ryan.

“To suggest that somehow because of her gender or her race she’d be treated differently I think is frankly demeaning to her,” he said.

“She’s a tough woman that fights every day to get out there for her publication and her audience to get the questions that she wants answered and I respect that. I really do.”

In an interview with CNN, Ryan responded to Spicer’s remarks, “Well, I thank him for saying I’m tough, but I still bleed and I hurt too at the same time,” she said.

Ryan, who recently became a CNN political analyst, also noted that “we all are in there together in this mosh pit trying to ask questions. But you have to remember, this is a male-dominated town.”

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  • The funniest think about all of this is that Trump and his team are all doing exactly what we thought they would do. Very true to form although they tried to assure people that ‘Liberals” were just exaggerating. The education secretary is so bad, she needs security. This whole administration is a joke, a bad one, but still a joke. Cannot wait for them to leave and hope people are not stupid enough to vote him in for a second term.

    • DeVos is Erik Prince’s sister. Prince is the CEO of mercinary company Blackwater. Considering the war crimes committed in Iraq, she does need security and her brother should be providing it.

    • Please read, think and digest before responding. The investigation is about Russian hacking. Trumps attempts at diversion are working because it’s clear that you are hoping they investigate Rice. You already gave the evidence that she was simply doing her job AND that she followed correct protocol. Your bias is clouding your perception!

  • It is not racist to have Susan Rice called to testify to Congress. She was National Security Advisor and she unmasked members of Trump’s team during surveillance. I am sure the investigation will determine if that was legal or not.

    • Is your declaration based on your experience as a Black woman? Or your privileged point of view as a white man?

      Susan Rice unmasked people in a criminal investigation pursuant to her responsibility as National Security Advisor. The people unmasked were not disclosed to the public and it appeares that they were involved in helping the Russians pervert our election. If the Russians hacked the election computers in the three states that went for Trump with less than 1% of the popular vote (only 77,000 votes total), then we are already at war with Russia.

      If this was a case of incidental intelligence gathering because there happened to be a Russian money launderer renting space in Trump Tower, well so be it.

      If it involves just how Manafort worked as the head of the Trump campaign and didn’t need a salary (Trump bragged about the great deal he was getting), so be it.

      If it’s two or three of the above, get ready to help him out by sending him commissary money for his federal prison stay.

    • Please read and digest before responding. The investigation is about Russian hacking, and it’s not about Susan Rice. Trumps attempts to divert attention away from real issues is working as it is clear that you are hoping they will investigate Rice. Your bias is evident. You already have the evidence that she was acting within her role and followed
      correct protocol.

  • As an educated, professional, Black female that has been in the workplace since the mid-70s, this is just more of the same – only played out a higher level.

    An attempt to “put us and keep us in our place”

    My parents did not raise me to bow my head and I never will.

  • Guess strong, confident Black women intimidate these weak, impotent White men. And when that happens here comes the insults, lies, innuendos, derogatory comments, name calling, admonishing behavior from the White man in order to re-exert his power and dominance to hold on to the old ways of getting things done. Nothing new there but they better remember that this is 2017 and we fight back.

  • Wasn’t this first an attack on a white man by black legislators.

    The thought that you can’t negatively comment on some ones thoughts or actions based on color is scary.
    And I hope Sheila Jackson Lee is not so uninformed that she believes that President Trump
    never also negatively comments on white men, black men, white women as well as republicans and democrats.

    • I’m sure Representative Jackson Lee is fully informed that Trump is merely a dumpster fire, sharing his unique aroma with the rest of us.

      I truly wish they would hurry up with the investigation into Russian collusion. This impeachment is taking too long.

  • This has become so evident in the workplace. My place of work does promote educated and qualified Black women as education administrators. They only promote those who do not conceive how to do the job well. I am a Latina who also has African ancestry but they don’t think that I know how to lead a school that serves children who look and are like me.

  • Although predictable, I am simply stunned that this administration (Trump and his team) predicates its public policies and actions on an American 1950 societal model that did not work then and certainly will not work now. Trump and his team are definitely out of touch with social equality issues, American culture (as in: we are now a multicultural society that is not organized as a monarchy), religious freedom–the list could go on. Perhaps most egregious and most striking– they are completely inept. Sad..very sad.

  • As an African American female lawyer, I can also attest to the fact that whenever you’re in a “male-dominated” town, law firm, corporate office (aka “plantation in the sky”), or military (aided and abetted by rabidly racist white women), Black women are going to catch Hell. I highly respect Rep. Maxine Waters and wished that Michelle O’Bama had shared her commitment to Blacks and Black issues instead of being her Uncle Tom husband’s twin and “crony of a deeper hue.” Someone indeed falsely accused Michelle O’Bama of being “uppity” because, like O’Bama, she suffers from an inferiority complex and bent over backwards to appease whites with the same lame “middle-class” rhetoric. She wasn’t “uppity” enough as far as I’m concerned.

    Snowden exposed the O’Bama administration for spying on everyday citizens. Susan Rice joined the NSA about the same time that Snowden uncovered O’Bama’s penchant for being a peeping tom (in addition to being an Uncle Tom). Rice may be suspect and I believe that she would do anything for her MESSiah (aka O’Bama), like most brain-dead liberals who are caught under O’Bama’s conniving and demonic spell. Rice did it and she is guilty.

    Spicer’s statement about “special treatment” is a veiled racist comment against April Ryan and other Blacks. Every time we demand equal rights or advance or an opinion, we are falsely believed to be asking for something “special.” It’s considered “special” because in racist ReBubbaCan’t bass-ackward thinking, we as Blacks are getting out of “our place” when we simply demand respect and equal treatment! Whites love the O’Bamas, Oprah and “Clearance” ThomAss types who “skin n’ grin,” appease and tease, shuck and jive, step n’ fetchit, but despise the “strong Black women” like Maxine Waters and April Ryan types who boldly challenge their illogical rantings or biases without apology!

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