Democrats blasted by black voices for using Kente cloth as prop during kneeling: 'Africans aren't children'
Top Democrats faced a major backlash on Monday, June 8 after pulling a dramatic display intended to show solidarity with the black community over the death of George Floyd.
Several leaders from the old guard of the Democrat Party, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), took the knee at Capitol Hill while draped in Kente cloth, which “comes from Ghana, where people wear it to show patriotism or celebrate a special occasion," per The Washington Post.
While the photo-op quickly went viral online, it appeared to do more harm than good — especially after several prominent figures from the black community mocked and criticized Democrats for their apparent stunt.
“Does wearing kente cloth and taking a knee mean you are all of a sudden ‘down with the struggle’?" asked Army combat veteran Jeffrey A Dove Jr, a Republican running in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. "This is why people hate disingenuous politicians. Speaker Pelosi was there for the '94 Crime Bill. She is part of the problem.”
Meanwhile, Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah wondered, “I look at this and think, who is the audience for this performance? Why was this necessary?”
Obianuju Ekeocha, a pro-life firebrand, released an impassioned video slamming Democrats for “ignorantly using the Kente fabric as a prop in their virtue signaling.”
“I was just looking online today like most of you and what did I see? A bunch of Democrat politicians kneeling down, of which I have nothing to say about that because I am not an American. However, they were all having around their necks this colorful fabric which I’m sure they put around their necks as some kind of mark or show of unity or solidarity with black people,” Ekeocha began. “So, in other words, they put in for the Kente material or this colorful fabric they had around their necks as some kind of placating sign or symbol to show that they are not racist and they are together with black people.”
“Excuse me, dear Democrats, in your tokenism, you didn’t wait to find out that this thing that you’re hanging around your neck is not just some African uniform, it’s actually the Kente material,” the author continued. “The Kente belongs to the Ghanaian people, mainly the Ashanti Tribe. Excuse me, Democrats. Don’t treat Africans like we’re children. These fabrics and these colorful things that we have within our culture and tradition, they all mean something to us. I know you look at us and you say, ‘oh Africans are so cute in all your colorful dresses.’”
You can watch the video message here.
“Well, some of those dresses and patterns and colors and fabrics actually do mean something to us,” Ekeocha explained. “Some of them belong to ancient tribes and mean something to them. So why are you using it for your own show of non-racism or your own show of virtue? Why are you using the Kente material to signal your virtue? Stop it. We are not children. Africans are not children."
“I know we are in unexpected times and anything is possible but listen man I did not have ‘Pelosi in Kente cloth’ on the bingo card,” GEN editor Hanif Abdurraqib chimed in. “I was so certain that picture wasn’t real at first that I didn’t even bother to look for proof in either direction. I just mumbled ‘damn people on here are getting real good at photoshop’ and kept moving along.”
“I’m Black and I don’t even own that thing on their necks that supposedly represents Blackness," another user added. "Also, I hate how Democrats always pretend that they have never had a chance to fix USA when they’ve been in government too."