Maxine Waters on fight for racial justice: I'm not new to this

Maxine Waters on fight for racial justice: I'm not new to this
© Greg Nash

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBipartisan bill will help level the playing field for small businesses Republicans hammer HUD chief over sluggish rental aid Key GOP lawmaker backs Powell for another term as Fed chief MORE (D-Calif.), who recently survived a GOP censure effort over her remarks about confronting police brutality, wrote in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece Thursday that she is proud of her record of civil confrontation.

Waters described her years fighting for police accountability and racial justice with the Los Angeles Police Department, including the high-profile case of Rodney King, a Black man who was beaten by the police in 1991.

“It is clear that I am not new to protest and I am not new to challenge and confrontation,” Waters wrote.

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"Confronting injustice has been my life’s work," she added.

Waters came under criticism last weekend for her comments leading up to the Derek Chauvin verdict, saying: “We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational.”

Republicans accused Waters of inciting violence at a time when cities were on edge and preparing for possible protests regarding the Chauvin case.

“To target me and say that I was violent or encouraging violence is a blatant distortion of the truth,” Waters wrote Thursday. “I am nonviolent.”

Waters referenced a letter she sent to her community ahead of the King verdict in 1992 that led to violent protests in Los Angeles.

“I implored them to be about life and not about death. I cautioned them that we may not get justice and that if that were to be the case, we still must not endanger our lives or the lives of others,” Waters wrote.

The California Democrat, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, added that she was “inspired” by the young people who protested last summer after George Floyd’s death and that Chauvin’s conviction can lead police departments to “take more responsibility.”

“I am hopeful that the police killings of Black people can be stopped."