‘Africans Are Not Children’: Democrats Face Backlash From Black Voices Over Political Stunt

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joins fellow Democrats from the House and Senate, including (L-R) Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), to announce new legislation to end excessive use of force by police across the country and make it easier to identify, track, and prosecute police misconduct at the U.S. Capitol June 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. The legislation is being introduced following the recent deaths of unarmed African-Americans in police custody, including George Floyd, and the nationwide demonstrations demanding an overhaul of law enforcement.
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Democrats faced intense backlash on Monday over a political stunt that they pulled in an attempt to show solidarity with the black community over death of George Floyd.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and other top Democrats took at knee at Capitol Hill while wearing Kente cloth, which, as noted by The Washington Post, “comes from Ghana, where people wear it to show patriotism or celebrate a special occasion.”

The photo-op moment for Democrats quickly went viral online — but not in a good way, as numerous people from the black community mocked and criticized Democrats for their political stunt.

Army combat veteran Jeffrey A Dove Jr., a Republican running in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, responded: “Does wearing kente cloth and taking a knee mean you are all of a sudden ‘down with the struggle’? This is why people hate disingenuous politicians. Speaker Pelosi was there for the 94 crime bill. She is part of the problem.”

Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah responded: “I look at this and think, who is the audience for this performance? Why was this necessary?”

Pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha released a video on Twitter condemning the Democrats for “ignorantly using the Kente fabric as a prop in their virtue signaling.”

“I was just looking online today like most of you and what did I see? A bunch of Democrat politicians kneeling down, of which I have nothing to say about that because I am not an American, however, they were all having around their necks this colorful fabric which I’m sure they put around their necks as some kind of mark or show of unity or solidarity with black people,” Ekeocha said. “So, in other words, they put in for the Kente material or this colorful fabric they had around their necks as some kind of placating sign or symbol to show that they are not racist and they are together with black people.”

“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, it’s actually the Kente material,” Ekeocha continued. “The Kente belongs to the Ghanaian people, mainly the Ashanti Tribe. Excuse me, Democrats. Don’t treat Africans like we’re children. These fabrics and these colorful things that we have within our culture and tradition, they all mean something to us. I know you look at us and you say, ‘oh Africans are so cute in all your colorful dresses.’”

“Well, some of those dresses and patterns and colors and fabrics actually do mean something to us,” Ekeocha added. “Some of them belong to ancient tribes and mean something to them. So why are you using it your own show of non-racism or your own show of virtue? Why are you using the Kente material to signal your virtue? Stop it. We are not children. Africans are not children. And leave our tradition and our culture to us and if you don’t know much about it, ask somebody. I’m sure there would have been something else you could have done to show your solidarity with black people instead of taking the Kente material and making a little show of it.”

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“I know we are in unexpected times and anything is possible but listen man I did not have ‘Pelosi in Kente cloth’ on the bingo card,” GEN editor Hanif Abdurraqib wrote. “I was so certain that picture wasn’t real at first that I didn’t even bother to look for proof in either direction. I just mumbled ‘damn people on here are getting real good at photoshop’ and kept moving along.”

Left-wing writer Roxane Gay wrote: “I am not sure what’s funnier, those ridiculous politicians wearing kente cloth or Cory Booker smartly opting out of that absurd performance.”

Another commentator wrote: “I’m Black and I don’t even own that thing on their necks that supposedly represents Blackness. Also, I hate how Democrats always pretend that they have never had a chance to fix USA when they’ve been in government too.”

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