Albany, NY - State Senator Marisol Alcantara (D-Manhattan) issued a statement today following the widely publicized incidents in which Congresswoman Maxine Waters D-California faced a racist taunt about her hair from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and the reporter April Ryan was disrespected and talked over by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
“As a woman of color working in an occupation that is dominated by white men, I am familiar with the kinds of comments and treatment that April Ryan and Rep. Maxine Waters faced this week. Black women at work deserve to have their opinions and their expertise respected. They deserve to be treated with respect in all circumstances. When black women speak up about injustice or even about inefficiency in the workplace, they should not be stereotyped or discounted. When black women show ambition, they should be encouraged to pursue their goals without apology, not asked to wait their turn.
Through statements, policies, and episodes such as these, the current administration and the right-wing interests that support it have made it clear that they do not value or respect black women like myself, they do not value or respect immigrants, and they do not value or respect LGBTQ people. This administration is dedicated to giving more power to those who already wield so much, and taking it away from marginalized groups. I am hopeful in the resistance I have seen so far, and will use my position to protect the many marginalized people who live in the 31st State Senate District. Rep. Waters’ and April Ryan’s commitment to holding people in power accountable is laudable, and I hope to do the same in my position as a State Senator.”