Throughout the last 14 years, “Auntie" Maxine Waters has been a force to be reckoned with serving in the California State Assembly for 14 years before serving in the House of Representatives for the 35th District of California since the 1990s.
The political leader and civil rights advocate has been more than vocal in taking a stand for the Black community and has never been shy about making sure that her voice is heard and her people’s interests are considered.
Rep. Waters keeps it 100 with Black people and her witty comments and direct retorts always hit the nail on the head when it comes to standing up for what she believes inl. She’s not just about lip service, but has also put action behind her words.
Here’s a look at some of the ways Rep. Waters has demonstrated throughout her carer that Black lives have always mattered.
From standing guard for the Black motorist in Los Angeles who was pulled over by the police, our favorite congresswoman said that she had to pull over to make sure everything was alright and no funny business was taking place.
"They stopped a brother, so I stopped to see what they were doing," the outspoken civil rights advocate said. "They said I'm in the wrong place and that they're going to give me a ticket," Waters is heard saying to someone. "That's okay as long as I watch them."
Auntie Maxine is always to the rescue!
Just like when she had to keep it realer than real on how Black people should be protecting themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic in an interview with the Grio, “I want Black people, my people to keep your ass at home and don’t be out on the street” she said. “You’ve got to take care of yourself because a lot people don’t care about you.”
Or what about the time that Rep. Waters put some respect on the young people protesting in the streets for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I have a very special feeling about what is going on now,” she said in an interview on MSNBC. “I believe that these young people in the streets are truly creating change and we’re on our way to the development of laws and practices that we’ve not been able to achieve with all of the struggles we’ve been in.”
And we can’t forget the Bill that she wrote to divest in South Africa during the days of apartheid proving that Rep. Waters has been advocating for Black people both here and abroad for decades.
If you’re not familiar with the story let’s put it like this, a landmark bill was created in 1986 thanks to then California Assemblywoman Waters. After her bill was denied six times, the progressive legislation ultimately led to the divestment of more than $8.3 billion of investments from South Africa that was transferred into state pension funds.
Rep. Maxine Waters has also been sounding the alarm and calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump almost since the very moment he step foot in the White House, implying that he knew about “possible collusions with Russia” and did not have the best interest of Black people at heart.
“They of course hacked our DNC. They have hacked other members of Congress," she said. "And so if in fact this president, his allies some of whom are now in his cabinet and others absolutely knew about it or acted with and were in collusion with Russia in undermining our democracy he should be impeached.”
And Rep. Waters is definitely woke when it comes to the tension between former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, let’s not forget the time when she said that the star athlete and social justice activist “deserves some respect” after it was announced that he would be named GQ’s 2017 “Citizen of the Year.”
“People with courage to do what they think is right despite the consequences must be respected and honored.”
“I want to thank Black Lives Matter: uncompromising, disruptive, energetic, and dedicated to undoing police killings and abuse,” she said. “I want to say to the protesters, I stand with you. No justice, no peace!”
Rep. Maxine Waters has also made it very clear that she isn't backing down from detractors, especially those in the White House, anytime soon.
“All I have to say is this: if you shoot me, you better shoot straight,” she said in 2018 while speaking in Los Angeles at one of the 700 rallies across the country for Families Belong Together, responding specifically to the death threats she received in denouncing Donald Trump as president.
Congresswoman Waters is also the co-founder of the non-profit, social service organization Black Women’s Forum, which has proudly served the Inglewood community for more than 50 years. With some 1,200 Black women members throughout the Los Angeles area, Waters leads the charge in everything from toy drives to supporting Black businesses during Black History Month.
In one of the group’s most recent events, Waters sponsored a conversation about “Black Mothers: Standing in the Gap” as a way of honoring the lives that matter.
Rep. Maxine Waters does not bite her tongue if she feels like an elected official cares about Black citizens. In June 2020, she accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of dismissing Black people’s well-being by his decision to block the House bill that would have expanded the 1965 Voting Rights Act supported by the late Rep. John Lewis.
"McConnell does not mean Black people any good," said the Democratic leader. "He does not care. He’s not about the business of correcting what is wrong with the voting rights that’s been basically undermined by the Supreme Court.
Auntie Maxine has been on the frontlines, pushing the Black Lives Matter agenda before anyone acknowledged that Black lives really do matter.
Nothing but RESPECT!
(Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)