In recent history, Maxine Waters delivered a speech on the House floor. In this speech, she took time to justify her criticism for Donald Trump. She noted:

When we fight against this president and we point out how dangerous he is for this society and for this country, we’re fighting for the democracy. We’re fighting for America. We’re saying to those who say they’re patriotic, but they turned a blind eye to the destruction he’s about to cause this country: You’re not nearly as patriotic as we are.

Meanwhile, in a “Fox & Friends” segment Tuesday morning (March 28, 2017), Bill O’Reilly replayed the speech.  Magically, he had this to say about the speech: “I — I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.” At that moment, one of the co-hosts laughed loudly.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade replied with “It’s the same one. And he’s not using it anymore. They just — they finally buried him.”

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt tried to defend Waters by saying “No. Okay, I’ve got to defend her on that. I have to defend her on that. You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.”

Yes, my friends. You have just witnessed the extremely grating experience of something called marginalization. And it is about time we call this bullshit for what it is.

Maxine Waters and the Causes of Her Marginalization

There were plenty of people that actually wanted to wave this situation off as “unimportant” or there are “bigger fish to fry”. But what happens after we are done “frying the bigger fish”? What is to be said for those other pieces that need to be cook? It is unwise to allow smaller issues be outweighed by ones that we consider to be more important.

Here is what we have to realize: all of this banter is a symptom of a bigger problem. Marginalization of the black woman can never be taken lightly because it is an indicator of an issue that has plagued black women for so long. And this issue is called misogynoir. And if you have been living in a cave with rose colored lenses or exist within the “sunken place”, then misogynoir is simply “misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles in bias”. And let us face the facts: this is exactly what the situation was.

If you are having trouble grasping this concept, then just take a look at what Bill O’Reilly said initially. He didn’t get into the meat of her discussion at all. Instead, he decided to go the logically fallacious route and make a comparison between her hairstyle and the follicles that James Brown would wear. With all hearts and minds focused on stereotypes, O’Reilly cleverly tried to decry Waters’s argument through a sheer ad hominem attack to distract and disregard anything she was saying. In short, this is par for course when it comes to misogynoir.

Let us not listen to what the black woman says. Instead, let us belittle her message.

Let us not take the black woman seriously. Instead, let us make fun of her looks and style.

Let us not see her as someone that should be respected. Instead, let us use her natural attributes against her to disparage her message and, unequivocally, her physically being.

This is how misogynoir works. And I need for us to see it for what it is.

Maxine Waters Deserves Our Admiration and Protection

Regardless of the hatred, Maxine Waters is unbothered by the situation. She noted that “…I’m not going to be put down. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay on the issues”. In correlation, we have to do the same as well. And by “issues”, I am talking about political AND social issues. Misogynoir and marginalization are issues that have to be dealt with. Otherwise, they will come up again like uncooked fish that has sat out too long: they will eventually spoil and make a stinky situation.

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect