Representative Maxine Waters‘s (D-Calif.) statements ahead of Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd were not unlike the intimidation tactics employed by the Ku Klux Klan, says attorney and conservative firebrand Alan Dershowitz.
“Her message was clearly intended to get to the jury,” Dershowitz said during an interview with Newsmax. “‘If you acquit or you find the charge anything less than murder, we will burn down your buildings, we will burn down your businesses, we will attack you.'”
The controversy arose when Waters addressed protesters following the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the nation waited for Chauvin’s trial to conclude.
Waters had said that if Chauvin was not found guilty, “we’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
“We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue,” Waters said at the time.
Dershowitz claimed Waters’s remarks were designed to “intimidate the jury.”
“It’s borrowed precisely from the Ku Klux Klan of the 1930s and 1920s when the Klan would march outside of courthouses and threaten all kinds of reprisals if the jury ever dared convict a white person or acquit a black person,” he said.
Yesterday, House Democrats defeated a Republican-backed resolution to censure Waters for her remarks. The House voted to table the resolution, which had been brought by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-Calif.), 216 to 210 along party lines.
Waters dismissed criticism from Republicans who accused her of inciting violence and called for her expulsion from Congress,
“This is a time for [Republicans] to keep telling our constituents that [Democrats] are the enemy and they do that time and time again,” she told The Grio in an interview published yesterday. “But that does not deter me from speaking truth to power. I am not intimidated. I am not afraid, and I do what needs to be done.”
“I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation,” she clarified. “I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.