LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A rant by Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters that sparked controversy over comments made by Bill O’Reilly has gone viral after the long-term lawmaker appeared to suggest supporters of President Donald Trump were less patriotic than black voters.
The veteran California lawmaker has emerged as the passionate voice of resistance against the Trump administration, laying all politeness aside when it comes to Trump – and raising some eyebrows in the process.
She’s called Trump offensive, someone who may eventually warrant impeachment and a male chauvinist pig who bragged about groping women.
When told that this is not normal political dialogue, she shrugs. She says, “My spirit tells me I cannot be silent.”
Speaking on the House floor Monday night, Waters doubled down on her opposition to Trump, linking her oft-voiced stance against the current administration to the historical plight of the black community.
“My position against this president and his administration is clear,” Waters said. “I oppose this president. I do not honor this president. I do not respect this president.”
“African-Americans have struggled and fought historically, many African-Americans have paid a huge price fighting for justice and equality in this country, have died for it,” she added. “I don’t have to call the names of Martin Luther King and all the others. We have paid a price, we have fought.”
As Waters continued her statement, she appeared to go off-script and compared the patriotism of black voters to those who support Trump.
“When we fight against this president, and we point out how dangerous he is for this society and for this country, we’re fighting for the democracy,” she said. “We’re fighting for America. We’re saying to those who say they’re patriotic but they’ve turned a blind eye to the destruction that he’s about to cause this country.
“You’re not nearly as patriotic as we are,” added Waters.
The 19-term Congresswoman’s comments were largely overshadowed by controversial remarks Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly made about Waters’ hair while he watched her comments from the House floor.
After watching the clip, O’Reilly said, “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.” He later apologized for the remark.
Waters responded to O’Reilly in a tweet Tuesday night reading, “I am a strong black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I’m not going anywhere. #BlackWomenAtWork”.
It wasn’t the first time Waters has used colorful language to describe Trump and his supporters: last month during an appearance on MSNBC, Waters called the Trump administration “a bunch of scumbags who are all organized around making money”.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)