Whenever I think I can no longer be surprised by the GOP’s utter lack of anything resembling humanity, another piece of evidence jumps out to remind me.
Cori Bush, a first term congresswoman recently elected to the House to represent Missouri’s 1st district, showed up to Congress on Friday wearing a mask bearing the name of Breonna Taylor.
The mask was not only a reflection of the congresswoman’s passion for seeking justice for Black people killed by police violence (she was an activist during the Ferguson uprisings), but also echoed the many face-coverings, NBA jerseys, billboards, and countless other measures people have taken this year to ensure that the life of 26-year-old Taylor, gunned down by cops from the Louisville Metro Police Department, is not forgotten.
But according to Bush, her Republican colleagues appeared to not even know who Taylor was. Instead, they seemed to think the mask meant that Breonna Taylor was Bush’s name and so called her by it.
It’s outrageous to say the least. Especially since Bush told reporters on Capitol Hill that not one, but several Republicans elected to public office had apparently shut out all of the extensive news coverage about Breonna Taylor’s death, not to mention the thousands of Americans who took to the streets in protest against it:
When asked about her tweet, Bush told reporters Friday that the comments from her colleagues were “disheartening” and “hurtful,” saying she was called “Breonna” several times.” This has been national news for a long time. People have protested in the streets with this name and it just saddens me that people that want to be in leadership don’t know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country.”
“But it’s okay because we’ll educate and we’ll make sure that people know who she is, what she stood for,” Bush added. “That she was an award-winning EMT, you know, in her community, that she was someone who deserves justice right now.”
“I am Breonna Taylor, as far as I could be a Black woman murdered in my bed tonight,” Bush added.
The depressing incident confirms two things. First: the importance of having actual representative leadership like Cori Bush in the hallowed halls where decisions are made that will impact all of us in this country, especially those of us who are still especially vulnerable to injustice due to our identities. It’s a sign of hope that there’s a working mother from Missouri, who had the capacity to care when Mike Brown, an 18-year-old, was gunned down by a police officer, now in representational leadership seeking to make a difference for the people in her community.
The disturbing case of mistaken identity in Congress also confirms the stupidity and self-abandonment of Black people who still proudly support the Republican party, in the age of Trump, in the year 2020. How can you support a party made up of people who have shown over and over again that they give zero shits about Black lives—about your life—and then have the audacity to mock others for supposedly being on a plantation?
You could die and they wouldn’t even care to say your name. Ask Herman Cain.