On July 20th, 2020, Congressman Maxine Waters, got out of her car to observe a police officer and to protect a black man from harassment and abuse. She saw the interaction, got out of her car, and monitored the officer.
While I take issue with Maxine Water’s voting record, I applaud her for this one. But it needs to be pointed out that this wasn’t just an act of bravery on her part. This was yet another sign that the protests for black lives are working, and that we are winning.
It is quite possible that Maxine Waters has been doing this the entire time she has been in office and this was just first time that the cameras were rolling, but I doubt that for a number of reasons, namely that confronting a cop is a huge risk to her safety.
There is nothing but good to take away from this happening. If Waters has been doing this her whole tenure and we are just now noticing, then we have underestimated Waters’s dedication to justice. If this was her first time doing this, then it means two things
1. That she as a political leader wanted to show that black people are not going to take this crap from the police anymore.
And 2. it means that politicians have taken notice of the protests to the point they are taking action in there own lives.
Whether Water’s did it because she felt emboldened or pressured by the protests is irrelevant when one considers that the state of affairs have finally pushed politicians, like Waters, to use their position in power to the benefit of the oppressed, even when they are not technically “on duty.” Waters was in her home district and witnessed this on her personal time, you are not likely to find many other politicians who will do something like this, unless we continue to mount enmorous levels of public pressure on them.
Whether or not Waters did this because she is not going to suffer any further indignations of her race or because she is reeling from the public pressure to take action does not matter, because what matters is that in either case the protests have pushed our politicians to take action, even in their personal day-to-day lives.
This was one tiny event, but it is not inconsequential. It demonstrates the real power of protest. It demonstrates that this is no time to slow down. Direct action is working, keep it up.