Skip to content

Is disrespecting Black women the new norm for Sean Spicer?

April Ryan (Photo Source: Facebook/@April D Ryan)

April Ryan (Photo source: Facebook/@April D Ryan)

For many Black women in America, there is a certain amount of patience and struggle they go through because of stereotypes. From eye rolling at a ridiculous statement to facial expressions, there is a certain message you get when a woman is displeased with the words coming from your mouth. For White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer it was too much and he decided to single out April Ryan for her “Black woman” body language at a recent press conference.


Ryan is a well-respected correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and was asking a question about the Trump administration and the recent scandal over Russian influence. Specifically, she asked Spicer how the administration was going to improve its image and Spicer bristled at the question. He stated to Ryan, “No, we don’t have that. … I get it, but I’ve said it from the day that I got here until whatever, that there is no connection. You’ve got Russia. If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection.”

As Spicer was speaking, Ryan shook her head at his response and got a reprimand from the press secretary who told her “I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again.” Ryan was surprised at Spicer’s admonition and later stated to the media, “I’ve been here for 20 years, since 1997, the second term of Bill Clinton. … We’ve never seen anything like this before. And my question was simple. How do you change the perception problem basically? I don’t know verbatim what I said, but that was the impetus and the crux of my question. And it went off into this Russian dressing, no shaking my head or whatever. I understand what Sean is doing. Sean is being the White House press secretary talking about and trying to make this administration look better than what it does right now. Unfortunately, I was roadkill today.”

This public attack on a Black woman by a powerful conservative public figure was the second one this week after Bill O’Reilly’s infamous “James Brown wig” comment against Sen. Maxine Waters.

Ryan has also claimed that she felt physically threatened by Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault outside the Oval Office last month. Apparently, if you are a Black woman and do not follow the Trump agenda, expect to be singled out.