Democrats put on a united front on Monday to unveil their police reform bill, but their well-intentioned move came complete with a bit of backlash due to their attire. As Forbes noted, Democrats including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer donned kente cloths, a traditional patterned textile from Ghana, during the press conference. Forbes also reported that before they unveiled their police reform bill, Democrats took a knee in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the many other African Americans who have had their lives affected by police brutality.
While their move to don kente cloths seemingly came from a good place (the garments were handed out to Democrats by the Congressional Black Caucus, per NBC News reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell), it drew criticism from many online, with individuals saying that the Democrats were engaging in "cultural appropriation" and that they were "virtue signaling." Many prominent figures have since spoken out regarding this move, with some noting that Democrats should simply focus on what matters most — legislation, such as the bill that they recently introduced. Nailed It! host Nicole Byer even wrote on Twitter, "How wild to think this is what anyone wants. Hang up the kente cloth write laws and defund the police."
Of course, there were many who spoke out regarding the Democrats' attempt to display solidarity with the black community amidst growing unrest in the country. And they weren't afraid to hold back their thoughts.
Straight Out Of A Comedy
What arrested development episode is this? https://t.co/t50zbsxVbZ— Senpai Thelo (@KingThelonious) June 8, 2020
Joe Biden's Role?
At this rate Joe Biden bout to show up in a dashiki looking like JAMAL from House Party 2 pic.twitter.com/21L8B5g9ln— Jay Washington (@MrJayWashington) June 8, 2020
Are these motherfuckers really wearing kente cloth https://t.co/O5QD7L0Kqx— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) June 8, 2020
The black intern pressing “purchase” on the kente cloth order pic.twitter.com/FtqiDOJGeU— View-Nah (@Mr_DePHInition) June 8, 2020
Yes. The white people wearing this cloth look ridiculous. I wasn’t gonna say anything but ehhh. I’ll take a chance. https://t.co/QxvVLWglqv— Amene (@Ange_Amene) June 8, 2020
Oof. Not a good look. Apparently the CBC asked them to wear it? https://t.co/IXXsK8FXmj— Jerzey (@jerzeyredhead) June 8, 2020
Focus On What's Important
I’m so disgusted by them doing this while wearing fucking Kente cloth instead of using all the power they collectively have to make significant change. https://t.co/wCf97l4sri— hushard. (@shimg3) June 8, 2020