Politics

Using a Black Woman as a prop is racist

Rashida Tlaib is right

Anyone who sat down today to catch a part of the Michael Cohen testimony in front of the House Oversight committee of the House of Representatives would have expected drama, and we got it in spades.

Congresspeople, understanding that the country was tuning in, did their best song and dance in front of the cameras, and much of it fell, reliably, along party lines.

During the first chunk of questioning and testimony, Republican Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina argued against Cohen’s assertions in his opening statement that Donald Trump is a racist.

To bolster his claims, Meadows brought a Black woman and former party planner for Trump, Lynne Patton, in front of the committee to claim that she did not think Trump is racist, and in fact, a Black woman would work for a racist. Patton did not utter a word, but stood behind the Representative.

Let’s be clear. He used Patton as a prop– very much like when white people are called out on their racism and say, “well my one Black friend says I’m not racist.”

The idea that one Black woman, can stand in for all Black people, and therefore disprove that Trump is racist is a racist action, in and of itself. It treats an individual as representative of an entire population. Aside from which the notion that no Black woman would ever work for a racist person as a boss is simply preposterous.

Freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib called out the racist nature of Meadows’ parading of the former employee, and it caused tense moments as the testimony wrapped up.

As MSNBC political contributor Jason Johnson points out, after Meadows angrily asked Chairman Elijah Cummings to strike Rep. Tlaib’s words from the record, he invoked his personal friendship with Cummings (again, he has a Black friend) and said there’s no way he could be racist because he has black grandkids.

(So actually, by our count, Mark Meadows has hit the racist trifecta today, this second-to-last day of Black History month.)

Aside from the theater of it all, Americans know Trump’s long history of racism and discrimination– reaching much further back than his announced bid for the White House. From his discriminatory housing practices, to his inflammatory rhetoric surrounding the Central Park Twelve (Seriously–click on the link. He’s been so demonstrably racist, it’s easy to forget all of the times he said or did something racist) to his incessant hatred and questioning of President Obama’s citizenship, we know it: DONALD TRUMP IS A RACIST.

But instead of disproving all of these points (which can’t be disproven), Mark Meadows used a Black woman as a prop. The only thing he ended up proving is his own racism. Slow clap.