The part that Republicans are really grabbing onto is Waters’ answer when reporters asked her what protesters should do going forward. “We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational,” Waters said. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Cue the Republicans screaming about violent protesters.
This didn’t come only from the likes of Greene, who will benefit directly by creating false equivalence between her part in promoting Donald Trump’s big lie about a stolen election and inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol and Waters’ part in calling for what the late Rep. John Lewis would have called “good trouble, necessary trouble” in response to police killings of Black people.
“Telling rioters who have burned buildings, looted stores, and assaulted journalists to get ‘more confrontational’ is incredibly irresponsible. Every House Democrat should condemn Maxine Waters’ call for violence,” a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee told Fox News. He said this on a weekend when multiple journalists were harassed, assaulted, and wrongfully arrested by police in Minnesota as they covered the protests. And as usual, Republicans have more to say about property damage caused in the upheaval of rage and grief caused by police taking a human life than they have to say about that root cause: a person murdered by agents of the state.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the next step in acknowledging that, far from sidelining Marjorie Taylor Greene over her dabbling in QAnon, her racism, and her past calls for violence against Democratic lawmakers, he’s following her lead. Hours after Greene tweeted ”Very soon I’ll be introducing a resolution to expel @RepMaxineWaters from Congress for her continual incitement of violence on innocent American people,” McCarthy echoed Greene in a tweet saying “Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past. If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week.”
Far-right domestic terrorists have been the cause of vastly more violence in the U.S. in recent years than Black Lives Matter protesters, from the Capitol insurrection to the fact that, according to a government intelligence report, “right-wing [domestic violent extremists] were responsible for the majority of fatal attacks in the Homeland in 2020.” Far-right violence is rising, and increasingly involves members of the military or law enforcement. White people are the most likely to commit hate crimes.
But Republicans are shouting about cases of property damage in the midst of protests against killings. The incitement of violence they claim to be concerned about is when a Black lawmaker calls for protest of racial injustice, while they continually downplay far more serious violence from their supporters—and, rather than expelling people like Marjorie Taylor Greene from their ranks, move steadily toward following her twisted leadership.