Maxine Waters Cancels Events After Trump Tweets Prompt Death Threats

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According to CNN, Rep. Maxine Waters has canceled two events, one in Alabama and another in Texas, due to death threats.

The hostility is likely a response to her speaking out recently at a rally about the administration’s family separation policy last Saturday. Waters called for continual protest toward Donald Trump and his Cabinet following Sarah Huckabee Sanders getting kicked out of a Virginia restaurant. She said:

“Already, you have members of your Cabinet that have been booed out of restaurants, who have protesters taking up at their house who sang, ‘No peace, no sleep.’ … And guess what, we’re going to win this battle. … Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. 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.”

Waters’ statement has since been construed as a call to violence by Trump and his supporters, despite the fact that she said, “I did not call for harm for anybody, the President lied again” and “I believe in peaceful protest.” Sean Hannity has gone as far as to blame her for the Annapolis shooting, an accusation so heinous, vindictive, and unsubstantiated I want to rip my hair out.

Waters says, in a statement,”As the President has continued to lie and falsely claim that I encouraged people to assault his supporters, while also offering a veiled threat that I should ‘be careful’, even more individuals are leaving (threatening) messages and sending hostile mail to my office.”

“Be careful” is a reference to a tweet from Trump on June 25th, where he wrote, “Trump tweeted “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!” (Emphasis mine.)

She continues:

“There was one very serious death threat made against me on Monday from an individual in Texas which is why my planned speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama were canceled this weekend,” she continued. “This is just one in several very serious threats the United States Capitol Police are investigating in which individuals threatened to shoot, lynch, or cause me serious bodily harm.”

Trump’s repeated antagonism towards Waters (he also tweeted about her “crazy rants” and called her “the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party”) is incredibly telling. This article from Vox about how the “angry black woman” trope informs they way they talk about her notes how their immediate interpretation of Waters’ word choice (the NY Times has a small list of the times the White House has used “push back” without much thought) as violence reveal some racist assumptions. At a rally in Fargo, N.D. on Wednesday night, he said, “Maxine. She’s a beauty. I mean, she practically was telling people the other day to assault. Can you imagine if I said the things she said?”

I can’t imagine.

(via TIME, image: Gregory Reed / Shutterstock.com)

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