Why Republicans Are Demanding Action Be Taken Against Maxine Waters

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Ted Cruz, Mazine Waters, and Marjorie Taylor Greene

Republicans are calling for action against Democratic Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) after she expressed support for protests against police violence.

On April 17, Waters spoke in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota where Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police officers days prior.

Her comments also preceded the closing arguments in Derek Chauvin’s trial. The former police officer is facing murder charges after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes in May 2020.

“I’m going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice,” Waters told protestors. “We’ve got to get justice in this country and we cannot allow these killings to continue.”

Now, Republicans have criticized Waters for allegedly inciting violence and encouraging rioting, for which they are demanding she be held accountable.

What did Maxine Waters say about Minneapolis protestors that has some Republicans accusing her of inciting violence?

Waters, who is a prominent activist for the Black community, is staying in Minnesota to await the verdict in Chauvin’s trial. While there, she expressed her wish that justice be served.

“I hope we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty,” Waters said. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”

She then told protestors to continue to show support to the Black Lives Matter movement and to push back against racial violence, urging them to “stay in the streets.”

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Waters also said, “We’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

She did not specify what exactly she meant by “confrontational,” nor did she make any explicit references to violence.

Rep. Waters has been accused of inciting violence in the past.

The California congresswoman isn’t one to filter her speech, and is regularly in the headlines for making adversarial comments.

Her actions have afforded her the nickname “Kerosene Maxine.”

In 2017 and 2018, Waters was criticized for allegedly threatening President Trump after she told supporters, “I will go and take Trump out tonight,” as well as encouraging people to tell Trump supporters “they’re not welcome anymore.”

She says her comments were only meant to reference to her desire for the former President to be impeached.

Waters has been calling for an end to police violence since the early years of her career and was one of the leading voices in the protests that swept across California after Rodney King was assaulted by police officers back in 1991.

Her recent comments therefore are in keeping with her history of activism in the fight against racially motivated police violence.

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Some of the Republicans calling for Waters’ expulsion seem to have forgotten their own statements many believe incited violence in the US Capitol.

Waters encouraging protestors to be more confrontational could, perhaps, be construed as incitement, given the subjective nature of the term; however, such criticisms thrown from the right at this time appears to many to be petty at best and hypocritical at worst given their own party's not-so-distant past with the January 6th storming of the US Capitol.

Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene demanded that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi take action against Waters.

“You impeached President Trump after you said he incited violence by saying ‘march peacefully’ to the Capitol," she tweeted. "So I can expect a yes vote from you on my resolution to expel Maxine Waters for inciting violence, riots, and abusing power threatening a jury, right?”

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Trump’s remarks explicitly encouraged his supporters to act violently, unlike Waters’ slightly more toned-down approach.

“If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," he said.

And Taylor-Greene herself was stripped of her committee assignments earlier this year after supporting extremism online.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas also joined the tirade against Waters, though he neglected to mention that he was also complicit in the Capitol insurrection, having listed a series of misleading statistics about whether or not the 2020 election was rigged just days before crowds stormed the building.

Pelosi's response when asked if she believes Rep. Waters incited violence was a straightforward "No, absolutely not."

Waters is currently unconcerned about the talk.

“I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say,” she said.

“This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.”

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her on Twitter for more.