U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) faced widespread criticism after delivering incendiary comments prior to the announcement of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
In an op-ed published this week by the Los Angeles Times, however, she defended herself while attempting to shift the focus to former President Donald Trump.
“Because of who I am”
Not only did she decline to walk back her comments, which included encouraging protesters to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin were not convicted on all counts in connection to the death of George Floyd last year, but she also tried to use the situation to score political points against the GOP.
Waters claimed that the real reason Republicans criticized her rhetoric was to “divert attention” away from “the fact that they aided and abetted” the riot on Capitol Hill earlier this year.
“Now, because of who I am, the right-wing and members of Congress who subscribe to the views of groups like QAnon, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the KKK have targeted me,” she added.
The California Democrat went on to describe the riot as “a violent, domestic terrorist insurrection led by Donald Trump.”
As for her own remarks, she said that anyone accusing her of “encouraging violence” is guilty of “a blatant distortion of the truth.”
“Looking for a guilty verdict”
Last weekend, Waters visited Minnesota, where she addressed protesters shortly before jurors in the Chauvin trial reached their verdict. Although most of the demonstrators in Brooklyn Center were there to protest the recent police shooting of Daunte Wright, Waters was asked to provide some remarks about the trial taking place just a few miles away.
“We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational,” she declared. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Waters went on to make it clear that she was “looking for a guilty verdict” against the former Minneapolis police officer.
“And we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd, if nothing does happen, then we know we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice.”
Her remarks led to a GOP attempt to censure her, but the measure was blocked by House Democrats. As a result, she remains defiant in the face of criticism, as her recent op-ed confirms.