Some might say that Maxine Waters, the U.S. Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district and member of the Democratic Party, is for reals making America great again. She is the highest-ranking Black woman of the 12 currently slaying in the United States Congress, and she’s a member and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Waters is the longest-serving Black woman in the House, and she is also the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee. On top of all that, she’s a very outspoken opponent of Trump and basically all things unjust—and that is just how we like our idols.
Here are four life lessons we can all take away from watching Maxine Waters do her thing.
How to “reclaim your time”
Last week, treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchi testified under oath before the House Financial Services Committee about the state of the international finance system. Being the Ranking Member, Rep. Waters was the first to question Secretary Mnuchin—and she wasted no time, immediately asking why his office failed to respond to a letter from the Committee re: Trump’s financial ties to Russia. Mnuchin tried to beat around the bush by showering Waters with compliments, but she cut him off rill quick.
How to spawn a movement with a simple turn of phrase
The Internet was quick to react to Waters’ iconic choice of words, “reclaiming my time,” during her interaction with Mnuchin, and the vast and viral responses added insane momentum to the #Resistance. Actor and singer Mykal Kilgore uploaded this loop to YouTube Sunday, and the stunning gospel jam made waves. In the caption, he wrote, “Our beloved ‘Auntie’ Maxine Waters laid this sermon down so good that I had to sing about it. Whenever anybody tries to distract me or block me (even with praise or platitudes) I’m gonna have to let them know that I’m #ReclaimingMyTime!!!!!!!”
How to speak your mind, even if you go against your own team
No one is safe from Auntie Maxine, not even Obama. In 2011, the president told the Congressional Black Caucus to “stop complaining” and “put your marching shoes on.” Waters, among others in the crowd, thought this was a very poor choice of words. When asked about it, she held back nothing: “I don’t know who he was talking to, because we’re certainly not complaining. We’re working.”
How to stand tall in the face of insult
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) March 29, 2017
Back in March, Bill O’Reilly insulted Waters’ hair, saying it looked like a “James Brown wig,” as she delivered a political speech. As racist and sexist as ever, O’Reilly caught the Waters wrath when she looked him in the eye and said, “I’m a strong Black woman and I cannot be intimidated.” She continued to say that, “I am not going to be put down, I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay on the issues.” Do you have chills yet?
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