As Pelosi’s use of the kente cloth shows, symbols ultimately mean whatever Democrats say
The virtue signaling, moral preening and culture canceling by the lefty radicals claiming to be honoring the late George Floyd is early insufferable.
They’ve ruined a worthy cause that united Americans — halting police brutality — by further polarizing the nation along racial and ethnic lines by eradicating things like “Paw Patrol,” Uncle Ben and the University of Florida’s famed “gator bait” cheer.
Yet Social Justice Warrioring can sometimes be entertaining — especially when their posturing backfires.
One good example comes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the longtime California Democrat who, oddly, still refuses to acknowledge her father’s support for the Confederacy as evidenced in 1948 when he was mayor of Baltimore and dedicated a statue of Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
On June 8 during a well-publicized photo op that was well received by the wokesters, Pelosi led her fellow Democrats into Emancipation Hall before the unveiling of a police reform bill. There, they kneeled for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck before he died last month — as the names of black victims of police violence were read aloud.
Along with obligatory coronavirus masks, Pelosi & Co. sported long flowing, brightly hued kente scarves — a garment with a vibrant color scheme that, as Democrats saw it, paid homage to the African heritage of the black Americans, like Floyd, who were killed by cops.
Well, it turns out Pelosi got her signals crossed in her virtue-signaling. Even some of the cheerleaders in the liberal media were forced to admit as much.
The reason, as USA Today reported in a “fact check,” the kente cloth was worn by leaders of the Ashanti tribe, predominantly from the west African nation of Ghana, who were involved in the slave trade.
As USA Today reported, “The Asante (an alternative spelling) supplied British and Dutch traders with slaves in exchange for firearms, which they used to expand their empire. Slaves were often acquired as tributes from smaller states or captured during war. Some slaves were brought across the Atlantic while others stayed in Africa to work in gold fields.”
But the newspaper, as other liberal outlets such as The Washington Post and New York Magazine did, excused the Democrats for their cultural appropriation by acknowledging their good intentions and how the cloth’s meaning has evolved with time. The left-wing PolitiFact nearly twisted itself into a knot to declare “false” the claim of the cloth’s connection to the slave trade. “Ghanaian leaders likely wore the Kente cloth in the 1700s and 1800s when they were part of the slave trade,” PolitiFact argued, “but it was not a mark of a slave trader.” Clear as mud.
USA Today itself areed with the original Facebook post it “fact-checked,” but then found the escape hatch: “We rate the claim that kente cloth was historically worn by the Asante people of Ghana, who were involved in the West African slave trade TRUE because it is supported by our research. Although kente cloth does have ties to slavery, it is more widely recognized as a modern symbol of pride in African American culture and pride in cultural ties to West Africa.”
Bottom line: symbols of slavery and racism mean whatever Democrats say they mean, history be damned.
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