Black leaders recently urged top congressional Democrats to stand with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and “protect” her after Trump and his administration officials expressed animosity toward her. Democrats chiefs will send a bad message that Black women are not valued if they don’t defend Waters, who has received death threats, nearly 200 African-American women leaders and their allies also said in a letter reported by Politico.
“We write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP,” the letter stated. “Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and Black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford: that it does not respect Black women’s leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters.”
Waters has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, addressing recent protests against officials like White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in public places. Trump blasted Waters in several speeches and tweets last week as well as accused her of urging “harm” to his supporters — a claim in which the Congresswoman said had no merit.
The letter, signed by Black women leaders including former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile and former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the Department of Agriculture Sherry Sherrod along with other activists including Rev. Al Sharpton and more advocates, was sent to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif). Both Schumer and Pelosi didn’t defend Waters in responding to her comments last week. Other Democratic leaders, including Louisiana Rep and Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond who did come to Waters’ defense, also received the letter.
Pelosi has now responded to the letter in praising Waters, CNN reported.