An African-American politician once told me the reason he wore red suits was because if he didn't, the media treated him like "just another nameless black politician." Rep. Frederica Wilson's sequined cowboy hats are no big deal to me. But I saw so many people mention it, I thought I'd point out that this idea that she's some kind of childish, bloviating clown is just a teensy bit racist. And it certainly seems to creep into some of the media coverage, like this Alysin Camerota interview with Wilson this morning on CNN's New Day.
"Congresswoman, did you hear General Kelly's remarks in the press briefing room yesterday?" she said.
"I heard his remarks and I heard him say that I bragged that I secured the money for the building of the FBI building in Miramar. And that's a lie," Wilson said.
"I feel sorry for General Kelly. He has my sympathy for the loss of his son. But he can't just go on TV and lie on me. I was not even in Congress in 2009 when the money for the building was secured. So that's a lie. How dare he? However, I named the building at the behest of Director Comey, with the help of Speaker Boehner, working across party lines. So he didn't tell the truth, and he needs to stop telling lies on me."
Camerota simply brushed that aside. After all, it's a black woman wearing a cowboy hat vs. a steely general from Central Casting! (Even if he did unthinkable things as head of DHS, and God only knows what he's doing in service of his king. Whereas Rep. Wilson actually seems to care about the people she represents, even though Trump called her "wacky" this morning. Oh, those wacky black people!)
"Well, his point was, I think, that -- though, you're right, he didn't get the facts right on that, was that empty barrels make the most noise. And he was using that -- he was likening that to you."
"Okay. that's a racist term too. I'm thinking about that one. We looked it up in the dictionary because I had never heard of an empty barrel," she said. (And she's absolutely right. In this context, "empty barrel" is simply a racist dog whistle about those wacky black politicians who make a lot of meaningless noise!)
"And I don't like to be dragged into something like that. The only thing I want to be dragged into right now is bring back our girls who are the victims of Boka Haram in Nigeria. I have been fighting this fight for almost four years. 276 girls were kidnapped from their dormitory in Nigeria by Boka Harum. And now Boka Harum has split and one sect of it is with ISIS. and that multinational task force that was set up by Congress with Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, my constituent was there. Sergeant Johnson was there on detail. He was not fighting, he was giving advice. And he was killed and abandoned.
"And I feel guilty. Because this is what I do every Wednesday in Congress: Bring back our girls."
Ha, ha! What a clown! She actually has a conscience, and cares about the inadvertent consequences of her policies? No wonder she's an empty barrel!
Says the man who works for the biggest clown in the world.
UPDATE: Even more context!