Jonathan Hart

Maxine Waters Attacked in Congress as she Sought to Protect People from Predators in the Auto Loan Industry

On Friday, Reps. Mike Kelly and Maxine Waters debated over the House voting to roll back a Consumer Financial Protections Bureau rule meant to limit discrimination in distributing auto loans. Studies have shown Blacks and Latinos have systemically been charged a higher markup on auto loans than white borrowers, and class action lawsuits were brought against auto lenders as a result. Waters advocated for another look at how this vote would impact auto loan practices with people of color. But those on the right insist talk of discrimination is steering away from the country being unified.

In support of Kelly, right-wing media and Twitter argue that Waters has “again” used race to push a political agenda, while they simultaneously bash her: calling her retarded, unglued, a race-baiter and divisive, and accuse her of not knowing the struggles of being a Black woman in America.

The video that has surfaced of the debate about auto loan discrimination shows Kelly accusing Waters of playing the race card, and then Waters being shafted by the chair, who cut her off from speaking. Waters noted the chair had allowed Kelly to speak directly to her at length with no interruption.

Kelly said Waters was making this conversation about discrimination that doesn’t exist because President Donald Trump is bringing people together in this country. In the same conversation, Kelly said to Waters, “When you run out of facts, I guess you have to go to discrimination…Not one of your people have never been on the floor [to sell cars].”

Twitter comments aimed toward Waters were racist, hateful and threatening:

How can one erase race at the same time that they’re perpetuating racism Only 32 percent of Republicans believe that African Americans face a lot of discrimination in the U. S., according to a 2017 study on a perception gap defining politics released by the Public Religion Research Institute. The study also says that only half of white Americans (50 percent) believe African Americans face discrimination.

Despite the well-documented history and continued impact of racism (and other isms) on people of color and women, as well as the blatant unabashed hate that has been led by the Trump administration, it’s easier for the right-wing to live in ignorant hateful bliss.

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