California Rep. Maxine Waters, who made headlines over the weekend after she urged demonstrators to “get more confrontational” at protests following the death of Daunte Wright, has an extensive history of inflammatory and controversial remarks.
Waters traveled to Brooklyn Center and spoke to a crowd of people that has gathered since last Sunday, when 20-year-old Wright died after former officer Kim Potter mistook her gun for a Taser and shot him one time. Last week, groups in the area were observed looting businesses, defying curfews, and clashing with uniformed law enforcement officers as dozens found themselves behind bars in the embattled city.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters said in reference to Potter’s recent arrest on manslaughter charges and the contentious trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer accused of killing George Floyd. “And we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd, if nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice.”
“I am very hopeful,” she added of Chauvin being found guilty. “I hope that we are going to get a verdict that will say ‘guilty, guilty, guilty.'”
“And if we don’t, we cannot go away,” Waters continued. “We’ve got to get more confrontational.”
Hours after her remarks, a Minnesota National Guard unit was the target of a drive-by shooting. Two of the soldiers were injured in the incident. Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the adjutant general of the division, said the crime was a reflection of “the volatility and tension in our communities.”
— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) April 18, 2021
Waters, an 82-year-old congresswoman who joined the House in 1991, received sharp backlash for her weekend remarks. However, it isn’t the first time the Democratic lawmaker was accused of incendiary statements.
As recently as last week, Waters told Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan during a committee hearing: “You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth!”
In 2018, the California representative, who solidified herself as a top critic of former President Donald Trump, was lambasted for encouraging supporters to swarm members of the Republican’s Cabinet in public following reports of supposed mistreatment of migrants at the southern border.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” Waters said at the time. “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents.”
“We don’t know what damage has been done to these children,” she continued. “All that we know is they’re in cages. They’re in prisons. They’re in jails. I don’t care what they call it. That’s where they are. And Mr. President, we will see you every day, every hour of the day, everywhere that we are, to let you know you cannot get away with this.”
Waters repeated her remarks in an interview later in the day.
“The people are going to turn on them,” she said on a segment on MSNBC. “They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’”
Two months later, the lawmaker said she threatens Trump constituents “all the time” but wasn’t doing that when she told people to “create a crowd” and “push back” on the president’s Cabinet members.
“I did not threaten [Trump] constituents and supporters. I do that all the time, but I didn’t do that that time,” Waters said to supporters in Los Angeles.
Waters has also referred to members of the Trump administration with “oil and gas interests” as “scumbags” who are only interested in “making money.”
“I just think the American people had better understand what’s going on,” she said in a February 2017 segment on MSNBC. “This is a bunch of scumbags. That’s what they are. All organized around making money.”
“All of these people who are organized with this oil and gas interest that’s in the administration, friends of the president of the United States, this back channeling that you see,” she continued. “These are a bunch of scumbags.”
The California Democrat has also been criticized for her remarks on race in the U.S. In 2017, she urged black people to “get controversial” and deploy the race card “a lot more.”
“Black people, you better get controversial,” she said. “You better be controversial. You had better call it like it is. We have been shot down because others have defined us. When they said to us about 10, 15 years ago, ‘Oh, she’s playing the race card.’ You should say, ‘Yeah, and I got a lot more that I’m gonna play.’”
“Don’t run away from it,” she added.
The congresswoman’s exploits extend as far back as the 1992 Los Angeles riots that resulted from the acquittal of four officers involved in the beating of Rodney King. Despite her office being burned down during the turmoil, Waters refused to characterize the incident as a “riot” and said she would not be asking people to conceal their anger on the streets.
“There are those who would like for me … to tell people to go inside, to be peaceful, that they have to accept the verdict,” Waters said in a 1992 press conference. “I accept the responsibility of asking people not to endanger their lives. I am not asking people not to be angry. … I am angry, and I have a right to that anger, and the people out there have a right to that anger.”
Waters’s remarks over the weekend spurred an expulsion attempt by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who faced a similar removal effort from her Democratic colleagues.
“After traveling across state lines to incite riots, her orders recorded on video last night at the Brooklyn Center directly led to more violence and a drive-by shooting on National Guardsmen in Minnesota,” Greene said in a Sunday statement. “As a sitting United States congresswoman, Rep. Maxine Waters threatened a jury, demanding a guilty verdict and threatened violence if Chauvin is found not guilty. This is also an abuse of power.”
Original Author: Jake Dima