This is the Maxine Waters Moment

We all watched last year as it became clear that an inexperienced, failure of a man would be following President Obama into the White House. As we struggled with that reality, one woman – a courageous Black woman – stepped up to say what we couldn’t. It was Auntie Maxine Waters. With side eyes and outright discontent, she is disrupting the overly white and male status quo in the nation’s capital, calling out foolery wherever it hides.

And what better moment for her to do so?

Rep. Maxine Waters Taking on Trump

Last year, Rep. Waters – who serves California’s 43rd District – was one of the most vocal politicians who opposed Donald J. Trump’s political victory. Before the inauguration, she said in no uncertain terms that she had no intention of working with Trump and would “fight him every inch of the way.” These comments, that reflected what so many Americans were feeling, raised her profile in the public eye. They drew attention to our collective frustration with the direction of the country. But, more importantly, she vocalized the specific issues marginalized people saw with the election outcomes.

A few weeks after Trump took office, Rep. Waters continued to say what many of us were thinking. When asked why she had spoken of Trump’s potential impeachment, she said “I have not called for impeachment yet. He is doing it himself.”

Where is the lie though?

While others in DC have infinitely lowered the bar for the new administration, Rep. Waters continues to discuss Trump’s ties to Russia, his FBI investigations, and his lack of legitimacy as POTUS. Even Rep. John Lewis echoed these concerns. Her unapologetic blackness and off-the-cuff realness are the life-giving magic that only Black women share.

But Trump isn’t the only gatekeeper Rep. Waters is fighting.

Rep. Waters Versus The Right-Wing Media

Just last week, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly came for Rep. Waters’ hair during a broadcast of Fox & Friends. Rather than focusing on the issues, he said he couldn’t hear what Waters had to say through her “James Brown wig.” Instead of lowering herself to his level, Rep. Waters made a simple statement on Twitter: “I am a strong black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I’m not going anywhere.”

O’Reilly, like so many other white pundits who cannot grapple with powerful Black women, was hoping to distract Waters from her actual, very important work. Yet, after that tweet, she went right back to drawing attention to Trump’s ongoing investigations, raising questions about his position in the White House.

Auntie Maxine is not about to play those games.

Rep. Waters is like that one auntie who everyone is scared of because she will spill all the tea at the function. But everybody loves her because she takes no shit from anybody.

She continues to prove that one can be Black and woman and politically ’bout that life even when the odds are against you. I’m grateful that we have a shero like Rep./Auntie Maxine Waters to hold us down during this trying time. This is her moment and I’m all the way here for it.

Photo credit: mark6mauno/Flickr

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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

1 Response

  1. Shawna says: