ED STATEMENT – Black Women for Wellness calls for a real apology and yes answer the question

For Immediate Release
March 29, 2017
Contact: Amy Lebowitz, Camino PR
212.255.2575 / amy@caminopr.com
Black Women for Wellness calls for a real apology and yes answer the question
Statement from Black Women for Wellness

LOS ANGELES — Yesterday, Bill O’Reilly commented about Rep. Maxine Waters (D – CA) as she provided political analysis: “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig,” referring to Waters’ hair. On the same day at a White House news conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed Black journalist and veteran correspondent April Ryan’s question, instructing her to “stop shaking your head.” Black Women for Wellness Executive Director Janette Robinson-Flint issued the following statement in response:
“Even an esteemed member of the U.S. Congress and a seasoned journalist who has covered four presidential administrations are fair game for racist, sexist attacks. When, on the same day, Rep. Maxine Waters is disparaged and objectified by Bill O’Reilly and April Ryan is belittled and condescended by Sean Spicer, it sends a strong signal across the country that reducing Black women to our appearances is acceptable, as is belittling Black women at our jobs, this blatant racism, sexism and patronizing is absolutely unacceptable.
“Black women leaders endure overt racism and sexism, as well as subtle micro aggressions, all the time. In Congress, press rooms and corporate board rooms, this type of behavior is not unusual. Sadly we are not surprised when white men in power positions show blatant disregard for our humanity. Our silent time is over, just as Black women came to the voting booth, we will be exercising our power and our voice on these issues that disrespects our community, violate our humanity and trample on our human rights and dignity.

“We are incredibly proud, as Californians and as Black women, to have Maxine Waters representing our community. We are proud to see Ms Ryan in the White House press briefing room. But her presence is not enough. Mr Spicer needs to issue his own apologies, but more importantly; answer the questions. Like Congresswoman Waters we are not distracted by the arrogance and non answers. This administrations short history illustrates a wanton disrespect shown to Black women by its official and unofficial surrogates, as well a general reluctance to share facts and truth with the media and the American people on the many questions we have.

“Black Women for Wellness reminds Fox News that members of the Black community are among its viewers. Continuing to tolerate sexism and racism in its broadcasts are not an option. We call on Fox to hire at least three Black women as news anchors, and at least three Black women in senior level decision-making positions that determine which personalities appear on air.” And if Bill O’Reilly is really sorry he will be donating substantial funding and supporting at least 5 Black led organizations serving Black women and girls in Congresswoman Maxine Waters district…that would feel like more of an apology than those worthless words shared in the media.

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