After pulling a highly “racist” political stunt, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other dem senators are facing massive backlash from black voters for their use of a Kente cloth during a photo op on Monday.
Democrat lawmakers, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are facing overwhelming backlash after opting to wear Kente cloth during their nearly nine-minute moment of silence in a show against police brutality. Many users across social media questioned their motives and blasted them for missing the mark.
Pelosi and fellow Democrat lawmakers, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), took a knee on Monday for eight minutes and 46 seconds as a show of solidarity with Americans protesting police brutality and remembering those who have died, including George Floyd, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin. Democrats could be seen kneeling in unison, with most wearing Kente cloth — a special fabric with deep and meaningful origins rooted in West Africa — in a seeming attempt to show further solidarity with the black community. Their attempt, however, appeared to many to fall flat.
“There is more Kente fabric in this picture than at a Ghanaian traditional wedding,” pro-life activist Obianuju Ekeocha said.
“The DC African-fabric shop is probably now sold out in order to meet the demand of this ridiculous tokenism by Democrat politicians. Dear Africans step aside! #CulturalAppropriation at its worst,” she continued, blasting Democrats for glossing over the importance of the fabric with the Ghanaian identity, specifically:
I’m suresomeone told them that fabric represents black people but in truth a Nigerian like me cannot lay claim to this significant fabric which is very much a part of Ghanaian identity.
Dear democrats,these colors & patterns belong to ancient tribes and mean something to us. pic.twitter.com/nuB1RPBtQA
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) June 8, 2020
“Excuse me dear Democrats in your tokenism you didn’t wait to find out that this thing that you’re hanging around your neck is not just some African uniform,” she continued in a video response. “These fabrics … they all mean something to us”:
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
“The Democrats have no interest in black America. These fools think that because they put some Kente cloth on they’re going to get the black vote?” Errol Webber, Republican candidate for California’s 37th congressional district, said in part:
The Democrats have no interest in black America.
These fools think that because they put some Kente cloth on they’re going to get the black vote?
I’m waiting on Biden to put a durag on and start saying the “N” word.
— Errol Webber For Congress (CA-37) (@ErrolWebber) June 8, 2020
“As Congressmembers ice their knees and put away their kente cloth graduation stolls, I hope they consider supporting a monthly stimulus check,” Briahna Joy Gray, former National Press Secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), quipped:
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) June 8, 2020
“Folks really think Black people are a joke,” author and former Warren surrogate Frederick Joseph tweeted.
“I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that they draped these white people in kente cloth to ‘honor’ him,” Joseph said in another tweet. “This has to be hell.”
Folks really think Black people are a joke.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) June 8, 2020
I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that they draped these white people in kente cloth to “honor” him.
This has to be hell.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) June 8, 2020
Backlash continued to roll in, and it was both swift and severe:
This is too much to wake up to
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 8, 2020
Is that kente cloth they’re wearing ? … is this supposed to drive in the message “ we care for the blacks” What in the hell?…trying not to laugh but this is sending me. pic.twitter.com/uc7vHVMHAD
— Antoinette Robertson (@Antoinette_Rob) June 8, 2020
How wild to think this is what anyone wants. Hang up the kente cloth write laws and defund the police. https://t.co/tc0t3TZxMH
— nicole byer (@nicolebyer) June 8, 2020
Be honest, if I showed up in DC wearing a Kente cloth, you’d rightfully boo me out of the city.pic.twitter.com/v4veAKXKGX
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) June 8, 2020
I can’t believe Pelosi wearing Kente Cloth right now. It’s blowing my mind, I can’t even watch this press conference!
— Ja’Mal Green (@JaymalGreen) June 8, 2020
Who was intern that said, “You know what’ll drill home the point? KENTE CLOTH.” https://t.co/jTmoLeyKhl
— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) June 8, 2020
And really fuck the Kente cloth, when does this legislation get voted on?
The Lynching Bill still has not passed btw
— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) June 8, 2020
It’s performative activism because they never took a knee three years ago when it was controversial and had actual consequences. They do it now because they think it’s trendy—hence the Kente cloth.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) June 8, 2020
they literally dressed up as a meme.
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) June 8, 2020
I would like to see the email thread that lead to the Democrats showing up to Capitol Hill in Kente cloth.
I would like to see it. https://t.co/1iWdTbgItR
— 💫✨ (@TheJessieWoo) June 8, 2020
How is this pandering Democrats draping themselves in the Kente cloth not defined as cultural appropriation by every single standard of the modern left? pic.twitter.com/XBgrllaKHf
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) 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
2020 is so far off the rails.
— Donwill (@donwill) June 8, 2020
As described by ThoughtCo:
Although kente cloth is now identified with the Akan people in West Africa, and particularly the Asante Kingdom, the term originates from the neighboring Fante. Kente cloth is closely related to Adinkra cloth, which has symbols stenciled into cloth and is associated with mourning.
As one of the prominent symbols of African arts and culture, Kente cloth has been embraced by the broader African diaspora (which means people of African descent wherever they might live.) Kente cloth is particularly popular in the United States among African-Americans and can be found on all types of clothing, accessories, and objects. These designs replicate registered Kente designs, but are often mass-produced outside of Ghana with no recognition or payment going to the Akan craftsmen and designers, which Boatema Boateng has argued represents a significant loss of income to Ghana.
The Ultimate History Project also emphasized Kente cloth’s history with the Ashanti people, which is “strongly tied to the history of the slave trade”:
“From the ancient history of the Ashanti Kingdom, to the Pan-African spread of tradition during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, to modern day interpretations and use of cultural heritage, the Kente cloth is both symbolic and representative of the history of the Ashanti people.
“That tragedy, that hour of history … slavery in our own country and then all the consequences of that — we are here to observe that pain,” Pelosi said as the Kente cloth draped around her neck.
“We are here to respect the actions of the American people to speak out against that, specifically manifested in police brutality,” she added ahead of their moment of silence, struggling to stand back up as it concluded.
Summit News added some reactions from twitter users:
Congressional Democrats take a knee as they observe a nearly nine minute moment of silence for George Floyd at Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol. https://t.co/JnqDlzMFDq pic.twitter.com/8CBdgtLUjz
— ABC News (@ABC) June 8, 2020
It was all conveniently in the middle of a press briefing announcing a new ‘police reform’ bill that promises to ban chokeholds, set up a national database to track police ‘misconduct’, as well as prohibit certain no-knock warrants and a host of other measures.
There is very little chance of the bill going beyond the House.
But good show:
The virtue signaling is off the charts… pic.twitter.com/HO8LWnqQoA
— DeAnna Lorraine (@DeAnna4Congress) June 8, 2020
Well… not quite:
This is the video I think we all wanted to see.. the Dems trying to get back up pic.twitter.com/OeJNEtrN4b
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) June 8, 2020
“It’s better not to have on high heels.” Riiiight, it was the shoes. Ok.
That statue just happened to be there:
— Climate Dispatch (@ccdeditor) June 8, 2020
Chuck Schumer took some light reading with him:
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer kneel with Congressional Democrats during a moment of silence inside Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill. More photos of the day: https://t.co/tYDDDYxM5W @j_ernst_DC pic.twitter.com/MzQAHJsR90
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) June 8, 2020
Eight minutes IS a long time:
Watch from the very start of video, the woman behind Pelosi can’t stay off her phone even for a few moments. Proves this is all a show! Nothing but symbolism over substance.
Right from the liberal playbook! https://t.co/ute7RO16md
— Kevin (@IrishGuyKevin) June 9, 2020
Did Nadler have a doctors note
— Showbake (@Showbake1) June 9, 2020
Of course, putting on an African scarf and getting on your knees might be a white liberal elitist’s idea of showing “solidarity”, but to most, including black people it was just plain cringe:
“Don’t treat Africans like we’re children,” urged Author Obianuju Ekeocha, accusing Democrats of appropriating the garb as part of a desperate “show of non-racism.”