living on the water

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Activist Brittany Packnett kicked off the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork on Tuesday afternoon in response to the disrespectful ways in which two prominent black women were treated by public figures throughout the day. 

On Tuesday’s morning episode of “Fox & Friends,” the network’s Bill O’Reilly mocked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) by saying he was too distracted by her “James Brown” wig to listen to anything she had to say about President Donald Trump. He has since issued an apology, claiming it was all “a jest.”

Later in the day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer scolded White House correspondent April D. Ryan and told her to stop shaking her head. This happened before a room full of journalists, and it was televised and broadcast on national TV. 

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Maxine Waters’ battle against powerful white men began when Eula Love was killed in 1979

To truly understand Waters’ approach to confronting political power structures now, it’s important to understand how and why she took on Eula Love’s case in 1979. For Waters, Love’s death at the hands of police resonated more personally than most. After all, they were peers. Both women began working in factories as teenagers to help support their families. Love, 39, had three children; Waters, 40, had two. Love was born in Louisiana and came to LA with her family amid a wave of black migration from the South; Waters’ family migrated from St. Louis. Both women had made the wide boulevards and one-story stucco houses of South Los Angeles their home
For Waters and her South Los Angeles constituents, Love’s death was a tipping point. Waters was roughly two years into her first term in the California State Assembly, representing a South Los Angeles community that had long felt under siege. Poverty rates were high, and stories of police abuse were constant. There was Carlos Washington, Bob Trivis, Ray Galante and William Gavin Jr., all victims of what Waters later called “the epidemic of police brutality in Los Angeles.”

For Waters and her South Los Angeles constituents, Love’s death was a tipping point. Waters was roughly two years into her first term in the California State Assembly, representing a South Los Angeles community that had long felt under siege. Poverty rates were high, and stories of police abuse were constant. There was Carlos Washington, Bob Trivis, Ray Galante and William Gavin Jr., all victims of what Waters later called “the epidemic of police brutality in Los Angeles.” Read more (4/26/17)
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