Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., commemorated the Fourth of July by questioning the concept of American equality, citing the existence of slavery when the U.S. was established in 1776 as well as current issues such as voting laws, the Supreme Court and the deaths of Black people during police encounters.
Far from celebrating the U.S., Waters posted in a Twitter thread on Sunday that the Founding Fathers did not have Black people in mind when they created the country.
"[T]he Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal. Equal to what? What men? Only white men?" Waters tweeted Sunday. "Isn't it something that they wrote this in 1776 when African Americans were enslaved? They weren't thinking about us then, but we're thinking about us now!"
Waters continued, referencing the Declaration of Independence's assertion, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The California Democrat implied that while the Declaration of Independence says that this "self-evident," recent events indicate otherwise.
Waters listed "voter suppression laws" in 17 states, possibly a reference to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice that 17 states passed laws that restrict the ability to vote. Most of these deal with absentee ballot security measures, voter ID, or updating voter registers. Waters also listed the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, who all died following or during police encounters. The congresswoman also said that the Supreme Court "gutted" Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a reference to the court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
Waters was not the only Democrat to reference racial issues on social media over the holiday weekend. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., tweeted on Sunday that when people talk about American freedom it is only for White people.
Bush went on to say that the land is "stolen" and that Black people "still aren't free."
Fox News' Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.