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Maxine Waters speaks at Speaking Truth to Power conference

MIKE McGEE | 7/25/2018, 10:43 a.m.
“Maxine Waters is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today,” read a ...
Congresswoman Maxine Waters is the U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district. AP file photo

“But we’ve made some progress working with Mr. [Richard] Cordray, who was at the Consumer [Financial] Protection Bureau here in the government. He’s gone now, and we have more work to do because this administration and this president is trying to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that’s responsible for the protection of consumers, such as with the payday loan problem that we have.

“This is a president who does not understand the seriousness of the leadership that he should be providing. It’s all about him, and the ability to do business, continuing with his family to make money, but we must keep working in spite of that.”

Dyson supported the congresswoman’s general position, emphasizing with equal fervor the power the African American community – and especially Black women – had in local activism and the larger political sphere.

The doctor also reconfirmed that racism and sexism both were tools the president would combine to rely on when met with challenges to his policies.

“I find it interesting that 46-Minus-One would come for a Black woman,” he said as he referred to Waters, “But LeBron James called him a ‘bum’ and he ain’t said a word.”

He then wondered how that challenged Black men to voice more support of Black women.

“Because, again, he ain’t gonna come for a brother like he will a sister. Which again speaks to that – What? – White male supremacy. So, speak to us as brothers and our responsibility in this space where Black women are doing it for us, and for so long have been doing it for us, so that our men may have a bit of power because of Black women,” Dyson said, asking Black women to “call us out” on what Black men needed to do to further back sisters trying to create positive change.

Dyson discussed that many Trump supporters held a narrow view of The Constitution, rather than a wider perspective; a problem that has been around for more than two centuries regardless of administrations.

“So, literally written into a founding document of the United States of America, is the notion that Black people are untrustworthy citizens, and indigenous people are unworthy citizens, who should be denied every right that White brothers and sisters are heir to.”

Things were doubly worse for slaves, Dyson advanced, as originally a voting citizen had to also be a property owner. Since slaves were considered property, objects rather than people, they could not inherit the right to citizenship at any point.

“So when people think that what’s going on now – especially with Trump – is an aberration, they’re missing the point. It’s the logical extension of White supremacy,” he maintained. “Except now, he’s treating the rest of the nation the way some of them treated us. And it ain’t familiar to them, but it’s familiar to us.

“So threatening Maxine Waters because she has the unabashed gall as an American to stand up and say stuff, whether you agree with her or not about her approach, the fact that she said ‘Round ‘em up. Make these people know that they’re not welcome in America.’”

Dyson expressed that in congresswoman’s plea to address officials such as Sarah Sanders or Scott Pruitt in public, “She’s challenging their own unquestioned superiority as citizens and their legitimacy and validity the way Trump did to Obama.”