81-Year-Old Congresswoman Maxine Waters Got Out of Her Car To Intervene As Black Driver Was Pulled Over By Police, To Make Sure Driver’s Rights Were Protected

This is inspiring.


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651 points

As a public servant, you have to be around a long time and do a lot of good to earn an honorific title like “Auntie” from your constituents. In fact, you almost have to serve for 30 years in the People’s House, found the Progressive Caucus in that same body, and maybe even go viral for a three-word phrase while you grill a potential Treasury Secretary: Reclaiming my time.

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But the bottom line is, “Auntie Maxine” earned that name by just plain being an actual public servant, instead of just using that job title to extend her tenure in Congress, enrich her donors, or use her position in the House of Representatives as a stepping stone to some higher office, as so many members of Congress do.

Most, if not all, of Waters’ career has been spent in the service of correcting and eliminating racism, and especially right now, there is no higher public service. Before she was even in the US Congress, as a California Assemblywoman she authored a bill getting her state’s money out of still-apartheid South Africa. After she was elected to CA’s 29th District, which included the area in which Rodney King was beaten in the streets, she showed up unannounced to a meeting that then-president George H.W. Bush had convened with a few members of Congress and his Cabinet to tell him what was what.

After Charlottesville, in fact, Congresswoman Waters was one of the first to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump.

But if you want to see true service to the people, watch this video of an 81-year-old woman stopping her car in traffic when she saw that the police had a Black man pulled over, using her position to make sure that he was treated fairly and didn’t become another statistic in an age of rising violence against Blacks by the police, especially during traffic stops.

Even after being told by the police she was going to be ticketed, she insisted on staying and ensuring the driver’s rights were protected.

Thank you, Congresswoman. You are a hero and the definition of “public servant.”

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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