We all know that Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a spitfire. The longest-serving Black woman in the House speaks her mind every chance she gets, against any opponent, and on any platform. She has shown time and time again that she can hold her own. Her popularity was heightened after she refused to attend Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. The 79-year-old was given the nickname “Auntie Maxine” by millennials after clapping back at now-ousted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. He insulted her hairstyle, saying he was too distracted by her “James Brown wig.” Waters’ response, “I am a strong Black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I am not going anywhere,” went viral. The incident sparked Black women on social media to start the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork to express the challenges that Black women face in the workplace and their disgust for O’Reilly’s comment. She also coined the phrase “Reclaiming My Time” after interrupting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. She felt that he was dodging her questions during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.
While honoring her longtime friend, legendary Black comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory at his celebration of life this weekend, Waters announced to those gathered that she doesn’t have time to be likable or timid.
“I’ve decided, I’m taking off the gloves. I’ve decided that I have no fear. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be safe. I’m not looking for who likes me and does not like me. It’s time for all of us to walk in the walk of Dick Gregory,” she said. Her fearless comment was a build up to thanking the Cosby family. The Cosby’s sent a tree to Waters when her mother passed away three years ago. Since Bill Cosby is facing sexual assault allegations and has a re-trial set for early Spring 2018, numerous organizations, friends and celebrities have severed ties with him. But Waters says that she sticks by her friends during hard times. “Thank you Bill and Camille Cosby… Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a politician. I’m not supposed to thank Bill and Camille Cosby. A friend in need is a friend indeed and if you can’t stand with your friends when they need you, your not worth your soul,” she said.
Waters pointed out that some of today’s youth have been problematic as a result of being “dropped off of America’s agenda.” Encouraging her audience, she vocalized that this generation’s issues should be the community’s priority. And the solution to most of their issues involves loving, embracing and standing up for them in their time of need.
How official would an Auntie Maxine speech be if she didn’t throw shade at the president? She’s been calling for Trump’s impeachment before he was sworn in. Waters repeatedly called President Trump a “dishonorable human being.” She went further by indicating his White House cabinet was filled with KKK members and the Alt-right. She even mentioned what she thought Dick Gregory would say about Trump’s actions with Putin. “Did he collude with Russia? I bet you Dick Gregory would tell me, ‘Yeah, he did it.'” Whether impeached or not, Waters is sure she’ll leave a lasting impression on the president. “We’re gonna let someone come along, like this ‘thing’ in the White House and dishonor us all?… I don’t think so! … When I get done with Donald Trump, he’s gonna wish he had been impeached,” she said.