And there it is: “Maxine Waters’ pain and passion”.
The thing I love most about Maxine Waters is her raw, honest passion. Why on earth would I EVER want to muzzle her? She’s been a representative serving the state of California since 1991. She and I are just over a year apart in age. I’m older by 11 months, and I marvel at her commitment, at her energy. She is THERE for her people and for everyone else’s. She FEELS it. She gets emotional. And the truth is, for all her passion, she has lost far more battles than she ever won. Still, she persists.
The gross, prolonged death of George Floyd set us all on edge. The trial came almost a year after his murder and mere months after an insurrection attempt on our Capitol building, where Maxine Waters and so many others were put in the kind of danger we could never have imagined before Donald Trump and the rise of his MAGA cult.
Since George Floyd’s death there have been many more instances of black and brown men and women under attack and too often dying at the hands of the police. We watch them and weep. Maxine watches them and agonizes over the truth that she, with all her will, with all her power, can do nothing to stop them.
The news came last week of the death of Daunte Wright, a 22 year old Black man who died after being shot in the chest, point-blank, WHILE SITTING IN HIS CAR. His murderer, a white policewoman, claimed she grabbed the wrong weapon; she meant to grab her taser instead of her GLOCK. But why would she be tasing a man sitting in his car? What threat was he beyond being Black?
Daunte had a small child. He was loved. His family is drowning in sorrow and rage, And Auntie Maxine is right there with them.
Her rallying cry at the Brooklyn Center protest echoes her frustration. Of COURSE she’s furious. Of COURSE she’s looking for answers. And OF COURSE she’s going to recruit an army of equally angry, equally frustrated citizens to force the government to take action–the actions they should have been using for decades to end this long-time, festering police problem.
Nowhere does she call for violence. Nobody heard that in her words except those who fear her. Yes, fear her. Auntie Maxine is a force. She does not beg. She does not cajole. She demands. And those of us who follow her Twitter are ever grateful she’s on our side. She’s not going anywhere and neither are we. The fight goes on.
“I’ve tried to be an apostle for social justice and decency. I’ve tried to be one of those leaders in our nation’s history that’s tried to tilt the scales towards fairness and openness. That’s what my life’s been about. I want people to feel wanted. I want them to feel that they are needed, and I want them to feel that in America, to be treated fairly.”
RIP, Fritz Mondale. May we finally recognize and acknowledge the nation’s good guys and give them the respect they deserve.