Democratic lawmaker: 'I love America even though at times she didn't love me back'

Democratic lawmaker: 'I love America even though at times she didn't love me back'
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceMichigan House Democrats plan vigil for Iraqi man who died after deportation Democrats warn of Trump trap Democratic lawmaker: 'I love America even though at times she didn't love me back' MORE (D-Mich.) on Monday said she loves the U.S. even though she has experienced injustices as a black woman. 

"I love America. I love her with every ounce of this brown skin that God kissed me with," the congresswoman said Monday at an NAACP convention in Detroit. "I love America even though at times she didn’t love me back." 

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In her speech, Lawrence outlined injustices black women have faced in the fight for equality. She recalled a time in America when she would have been denied the right to vote, work or own property. 

"I was not considered an equal, but I love this country," she said. 

"And you know why I love this country?" she asked. "Because every time we got twisted and we got off track, our democracy that we have, our Constitution, our rights gave us the power to stand up and fight. It gave us the opportunity to say, 'Not in our America.'"

That fight is not over, she said. 

"We get frustrated because they’re not holding true to 'one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,'" she said. "I love this country, and I’m gonna fight for it. I’m gonna a fight for it not just because Brenda is here. I’m fighting for it for every last one who’s coming after me."

Lawrence, a Detroit native, was the first African American and woman to serve as mayor of Southfield, Mich., and served in that capacity for 14 years before being elected to Congress in 2014.

She was reelected in 2016 and 2018.