News outlet CNN recently released a segment about five freshmen congresswoman they call the “unlikely leaders” behind impeachment. The video and accompanying article follows Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, and Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia. All of whom are white. CNN appears to give them the credit for turning the tide on impeachment. However, many congresswomen of color were calling for impeachment long before the so-called “leaders.”
These five women are credited with turning the tide due to an op-ed in The Washington Post. They along with two other Democrats call for impeachment whilst emphasizing their national security credentials (they are all either veterans or worked in intelligence). This op-ed however, was only published on September 23.
Arent We Forgetting Someone?
Maxine Waters was calling for impeachment well before then. In fact, she was the very first Democrat to do so.Despite this, Waters isn’t even mentioned in either the video or the article. The women praise Nancy Pelosi for starting the process, when she only did so after months of pressure from progressives in the party.
There are some women of color mentioned in the video, but the reference is not positive. Both the presenter of the segment, Dana Bash and the women take time to disparage The Squad.
The Squad refers to a group of freshmen congresswomen of color. All of whom are progressives who have been incredibly vocal and active during their tenure. They have also been relentlessly attacked by right-wingers, mainstream press, and even more centrist Democrats. The women in the squad are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib, and Ayanna Pressley. These women were also calling for impeachment long before CNN’s five, but that isn’t mentioned.
Instead, both Bash and the five women imply that The Squad are attention-seeking and not focused on the issues.
It is incredibly unfortunate that these five women and CNN both saw fit not only to ignore the work of women of color but also to disparage it. If impeachment is successful, we should all remember who really paved the way.