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Pelosi Says Maxine Waters Shouldn't Apologize for Comments Many Have Called Incitement of Violence

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Double standards are the rule of the day.

On Saturday evening, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California took to the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota — 2,000 miles away from her southern Los Angeles County district — to proclaim that there would be violence on the streets if Derek Chauvin was not convicted on every count with which he was charged.

And the House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi were A-OK with it.

Speaking to reporters among a throng of people gathered to denounce the police over the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man who was inadvertently but fatally shot by a police officer last week, Waters commented on the ongoing trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin.

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters said. Referencing the three charges against Chauvin, she declared, “I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”

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When asked what protesters should do if the jury returned a verdict acquitting Chauvin of the murder counts, Waters added emphatically, “We have to stay on the street, and … get more confrontational, and we’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

At the time Waters made her remarks, the criminal trial of Derek Chauvin was still ongoing, and closing arguments were scheduled to occur the following day.

Did Maxine Waters incite violence in Brooklyn Center?

The jury was not sequestered, and news reports of Waters’ remarks circulated widely on news outlets and social media.

Although Judge Peter Cahill denied a defense motion for a mistrial based on Waters’ statements, he condemned Waters’ remarks as being “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch.” Cahill also acknowledged that, if Chauvin were convicted, Waters’ incendiary comments might result in the conviction being thrown out on appeal.

“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” he told defense attorney Eric Nelson.

Criticism of Waters came swiftly from the right, which correctly noted that her remarks were designed to incite violence and to intimidate the jury into convicting Chauvin.

Yet Nancy Pelosi refused to hold Waters accountable, saying that she has nothing to apologize for. “Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement,” Pelosi said. “No, I don’t think she should apologize.”

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Pelosi obviously forgot that some civil rights activists and organizations — for example, Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party — endorsed violent confrontation.

Nevertheless, the Democratic conference fell in line. On the floor of the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sanctimoniously echoed the speaker’s argument:

“I urge all of my colleagues to pick up their dictionary, turn to the ‘Cs’, and look up ‘confront.’ Confront is to face the facts. Confront is to face the truth. Confront is to face the challenges that we have. And that is what Ms. Waters urged,” Hoyer said. “Confront is not violence.”

Really? That’s an interesting perspective from a conference that impeached a president on the grounds that telling supporters to “fight like hell” to save the country, but to do so “peacefully and patriotically,” amounts to inciting an insurrection.

Why do Pelosi, Hoyer and their ilk believe that Trump’s words — made to a group that had not previously committed any violence or property damage — were a call to arms, but that Waters’ provocative remarks — made among a scrum of protesters and with the knowledge that her words would be disseminated instantaneously over the internet to angry mobs throughout the country that had spent the previous summer burning cities to the ground and throwing Molotov cocktails at police officers in the name of George Floyd, and that were on edge for the jury’s verdict to be announced — were not?

According to Operation Safety Net — a joint effort of the Minnesota National Guard and local law enforcement to ensure the safety of the public during the Chauvin trial — protesters in Brooklyn Center were “launching bottles, fireworks, bricks and other projectiles at public safety officials” in the days leading up to Waters’ statement.

And, throughout the week, violent antifa and BLM rioters also burned buildings, looted stores and attacked the Brooklyn Center police station.

During Trump’s second impeachment trial, House Manager Joaquin Castro asserted that when people are “saying they’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” any words that can be construed as calling for violence produce “an incredibly combustible situation.”

Was this not the case in highly volatile Brooklyn Center simply because the declarant this time was a Democrat? Of course not — with her words, Waters held a lit match to a powder keg.

Indeed, the day after Waters made her remark, a Minnesota National Guard and Minneapolis police team were fired upon in a drive-by shooting.

Yet, when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy introduced a censure resolution against Waters for inciting violence, House Democrats circled their wagons, and the resolution was defeated on a party-line vote of 216-210.

Waters has claimed that her words were misinterpreted and that she intended the word “confrontational” to mean “speaking up” and getting elected officials to “control [police department] budgets and to pass legislation.”

That’s quite a novel definition for “confrontation” to be sure, and hardly one that would require activists to “stay on the street” until “they know that we mean business.”

Moreover, such a benign definition is belied by Waters’ history of encouraging and justifying violence.

In the aftermath of the verdict in the Rodney King case, Waters led a group of protesters in chanting “No justice, no peace” in 1992. She also encouraged the rioting and defended looting.

And more recently, in 2018, Waters pressed her supporters to publicly confront and harass members of the Trump administration.

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” the California Democrat said at a rally. “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

On that occasion, Pelosi rebuked Waters, saying her remarks were “unacceptable” — apparently while the leaders of the civil rights movement would have frowned on those words just three years ago, they’d be fine with them now.

What has changed since 2018? Most of all, the far left’s influence over the levers of power in Washington.

As the radical leftists consume the Democratic Party, they have abandoned even the pretense of consistency and don’t even try to hide their double standards. Today’s Democrats either don’t care or are powerless to stop them.

What Maxine Waters said in Brooklyn Center was wrong, and Nancy Pelosi and her party’s refusal to call her out for it is a moral failure.

Let’s hope the voters remember this in 2022.

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Ameer Benno is a constitutional law attorney. He was the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 in New York's Fourth Congressional District, and he frequently appears on national television and radio to give legal and political commentary.
Ameer Benno is a constitutional law attorney. He was the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 in New York's Fourth Congressional District, and he frequently appears on national television and radio to give legal and political commentary.




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