House Democrats sparked fury and indignation on Black Twitter yesterday by wearing tribal kente cloths while taking a knee to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats took a knee for exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds in tribute to George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.
It was meant to be a show of support for racial equality after the House introduced a bill to defund police and put an end to police brutality.
But the gesture backfired badly, as Black Twitter protested the Democrats’s condescending “publicity stunt.”
“This is fukkin embarrassing as a country,” wrote user Oldschooler All Star on TheColi.com.
“Do these people really think we are so stupid that they’ll earn our respect by wearing kente clothes, kneeling and putting black squares on Instagram. This insults our intelligence to say the least. Black people in this country need action from politicians not pandering. I dont want to hear no more invitations to cookouts unless that person has done something tangible for us.[sic]”
“Excuse me, Democrats,” tweeted author Obianuju Ekeocha.
“Don’t treat Africans like we’re children. These fabrics and these colorful things that we have within our culture and tradition, they all mean something to us. I know you look at us and you say, ‘Oh, Africans are so cute in all of your colorful dresses.’ Well, some of those dresses and patterns and colors and fabrics actually do mean something to us.”
Ekeocha went on to ask why Democrats were using the kente cloth for their “own show of non-racism.”
I had to say something about the American politicians shameless and ignorantly using the Kente fabric as a prop in their virtue signaling.
*I’m usually more mild mannered than this so please forgive me, I’m upset. pic.twitter.com/aZMjgsHujS
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) June 8, 2020
How is it not "cultural appropriation" for Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, & Jerrold Nadler to show up to the Capitol wearing West African "Kente Cloth"
Can you imagine if a Republican showed up in this for a publicity stunt?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) June 8, 2020
I am not sure what’s funnier, those ridiculous politicians wearing kente cloth or Cory Booker smartly opting out of that absurd performance.
— roxane gay (@rgay) June 8, 2020