Rashida Tlaib Guts Pelosi, Suggests Speaker Standing ‘Idly By’ as ‘Brown and Dark-Skinned Children’ Are ‘Dehumanized’


In the New York Times this weekend, Speaker Nancy Pelosi lobbed a grenade at the new left quartet of freshmen members of Congress, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley. It generated a lot of press and buzz and provoked a Twitter dragging by Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday night.

On Sunday, ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Rep. Tlaib about it, and she, too, spared no kind words or caveats as she likewise bashed the Speaker in response.

“In a column in the New York Times this morning, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that you and the three other progressives made yourself irrelevant to the process by voting against the bill,” said Raddatz, referring to what was at issue in her interview as well as Pelosi’s with the NYT, the votes on border funding bills.

Raddatz quoted Pelosi’s comments, prompting Tlaib to offer a response.

“You know people like us, people like me and Ayanna, Ilhan and Alexandria, we’re reflective of our nation in many ways. But many of us didn’t run to be first of anything, but more people like us have been missing in the halls of Congress. More people like us, people of color have been missing in the chamber because most of us – and Ayanna Pressley says it more beautifully, people that are closest to the pain needs to be at the table making these decisions,” Tlaib replied, immediately framing it as an us vs. them along racial lines, with Pelosi being the “them.”

“Guess what, we know what it feels like to be dehumanized. We know what it feels like to be brown and black in this country,” she continued, making it abundantly clear that Speaker Pelosi, in Tlaib’s view, does not know what it feels like.

“And I’ll tell you right now, we’re not going to stand by and sit idly by and allow brown and dark-skinned children to be ripped away from their parents to be dehumanized,” she added, obviously suggesting that Pelosi doesn’t care about the children as much as she should, because of their race or ethnicity.

“What would you say to Nancy Pelosi? What would you say directly to Nancy Pelosi?” Raddatz asked.

“Honor the fact we are there, that 650,000 people are represented by each and every single one of us, that there is some sort of, I think in many ways, something special about having a refugee, having a woman that, you know, has experienced alone what incarceration has done to her family, right,” said Tlaib. “All of us have these experiences that I think have been missing in the halls of Congress.”

Again, by saying it has been missing, it’s a very straightforward attack the party establishment as being old and white and not representative of or invested in the lives of people or communities of color.

“Honor that, respect that, put us at the table,” said Tlaib. “Let’s come up with a solution together.”

She took an aside to defend again her no vote, over which Raddatz had earlier challenged her, and then went back to bashing Pelosi.

“Uplift the women, especially the women of color, within your caucus that are out there because I’ll tell you more people like us, more people like me that come out to vote, we win, all of us win,” she began, as Raddatz cut in to tell her they were out of time.

“It is very disappointing that the Speaker would ever try to diminish our voices in so many ways,” Tlaib got in before they had to end the interview and toss to the break.

It was an absolutely merciless set of responses, accusing Speaker Pelosi of not caring about dying children, suggesting that she doesn’t care because of their race, and flat-out stating she is “disappointed” that the Speaker is trying to “diminish” the voices of women of color.

Ocasio-Cortez, in her tweeted responses, also suggested that Pelosi was callously indifferent to the deaths of children.

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