Representative Jasmine Crockett: “I’m Nobody’s Punk” — Interview

I had to ask Crockett if she felt any remorse for attacking another woman’s body in her retort. After all, “bleach blonde bad built butch body” is an insult that tears another woman down in a worse way than commenting on false lashes. “I don’t. The goal was to make a point. If it’s OK for her to attack me, [the chairman] is setting a precedent for anybody being able to lodge attacks. ‘Is this attack okay?’ is essentially what the question was.”

(Greene responded to the comments in a Twitter video featuring her lifting very heavy weights. “Yes my body is built and strong…Soon turning 50 years old, God willing, I will continue to lift, run, swim, play sports, surf, ski, climb and LIVE this life to the fullest and enjoy every single moment.”)

Crockett does admit that the whole situation isn’t appropriate for committee rooms. However, this is the world that Donald Trump has built. “When you look at all the things that the former President has done, mocking people that [have disabilities], constantly talking about women’s figures… that is what their game is, and it’s sad because it really has no place in politics,” she says. “But the fact is that…this is now the norm of politics; that’s a problem.”

“And I honestly would’ve preferred that she just apologize. I wasn’t looking for an opportunity to cut her down to size. But I also need people to know that I’m nobody’s punk.”

And let’s just keep it real: This was not shocking behavior for Greene, who has embraced fringe conspiracy theories and tried to interrupt the president’s State of the Union address. Twice. “We’re talking about somebody that has been nothing more than a bully,” Crockett says, “and the problem is nobody’s ever ‘punched’ her back so she’s continued to do it. And so I decided that I would ‘punch’ her back in the very same way but do it without breaking any rules.”

There’s no doubt that the conversation around Crockett from the Black women in my circle has been overall positive. Sitting in the hair salon on Friday afternoon, it was all the chatter. I would have preferred that Crockett had chosen different, less offensive words, but for Black women the temptation to drop it like it’s hot when they “go low” is sometimes hard to resist. We can’t all be Michelle Obama, and honestly, the professionalism of the government has devolved to an unrecognizable state since she said that in 2016. Would First Lady Obama be able to look Greene in the eye and keep it high brow? I’m not so sure.

Yes, Crockett’s clapback went too far. The body-shaming merch drop and trademark application within 48 hours included. But if one more person tells us to “calm down” (looking at you, Representative Anna Paulina Luna) and one more white man tries to pretend that we have not just been insulted to our face (really, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer?), Black women are going to lose it. “I absolutely don’t think that that’s what should be taking place in committee hearing rooms. I absolutely want to get down to business,” Crockett says. “But how can I say that I’m representing a majority-minority district and I’m going to fight for them every single day, and I can’t fight for myself when somebody comes at me?”

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