Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) once again defended her loaded rhetoric at a recent protest in Minnesota, describing the sharp criticism in response to her remarks as a Republican effort to “divert attention” from the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, which she referred to as a “domestic terrorist insurrection” spearheaded by former President Donald Trump.
Waters wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed published Thursday:
I attended a peaceful rally to demonstrate my support in this fight to get justice for people of color who are violated and killed day in and day out. While there, I was asked: Ms. Waters, what do we do if we don’t get a guilty verdict? What should protesters do? I responded: “We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational.” Confronting injustice has been my life’s work.
Now, because of who I am, the right wing and members of Congress who subscribe to the views of groups like QAnon, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the KKK have targeted me. Those very people have done so to divert attention from the fact that they aided and abetted a violent, domestic terrorist insurrection led by Donald Trump.
To target me and say that I was violent or encouraging violence is a blatant distortion of the truth.
I am nonviolent.
On Sunday, Waters joined protests outside a police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where she urged demonstrators to remain in the streets unless former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin is convicted in the death of George Floyd. On Wednesday, Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges against him.
Waters attended the event in support of residents who were protesting the shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who died after he was shot by now-fired police officer Kim Potter as he resisted arrest and fled during a traffic stop.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters said of Chauvin. “And we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd, if nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice. But I am very hopeful, and I hope we are going to get a verdict that says ‘guilty, guilty, guilty.’ If we don’t, we cannot go away.”
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) to introduced a resolution condemning Waters for her comments, though the measure was blocked by House Democrats on Tuesday.
A motion to table McCarthy’s resolution was approved along party lines; 216 Democrats voted to table the measure, while 210 Republicans voted to have the House consider the bill for a floor vote.
Following the vote, Waters dismissed the resolution as mere “politics” and said she did not regret her comments.