Hours before the State of the Union address, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gathered together her fellow Democratic women – and some men too – for a photo-op, as they showed off their black outfits for tonight.
The lawmakers were taking a page from the women of Hollywood, who sported black gowns to the Golden Globes to pay homage to the ‘Me Too’ and ‘Time’s Up’ movements.
The Democrats followed the lead of Oprah Winfrey too, who had brought up the rape and subsequent activism of the late Recy Taylor.
For the State of the Union, the lawmakers sported pink ‘RECY’ pins too.
Pelosi, according to Politico, thought the wardrobe revolt was enough of a message, as she also instructed her members not to walk out of the speech or make a commotion.
‘Let the attention be on his slobbering self,’ Pelosi said of President Trump, who delivers his first official State of the Union tonight. ‘If you walk out, don’t come in.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic women decided to wear black to President Trump’s first State of the Union in honor of the ‘Me Too’ movement
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (right) reportedly thought the wardrobe revolt sent enough of a message to President Trump, urging her Democratic colleagues not to walk out of tonight’s speech
‘Let the attention be on his slobbering self,’ Nancy Pelosi reportedly told her colleagues, urging them not to cause a commotion in the chamber during President Trump’s first State of the Union
A handful of Democratic members opted to do the latter with Rep. Frederica Wilson kicking off State of the Union eve yesterday by explaining why she wouldn’t attend the affair.
‘I’m not going because to do would be to honor the president, and I don’t think he deserves to be honored at this time,’ the Florida Democrat said on CNN. ‘After being so hateful toward black people and then black countries, Haiti and the whole continent of Africa, it hurts, it hurts, and he has brought the White House to the lowest, and I don’t think he needs to be honored with my presence,’ she went on.
Wilson is not alone in making tomorrow night’s State of the Union speech, Trump’s first, into a political point.
Earlier this months, on the heels of reports that said Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and the whole of Africa as ‘s***hole’ countries, during a closed-door immigration meeting, Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights pioneer, announced that he would not go.
‘In good conscience, I can not and will not sit there and listen at him as he gives the State of the Union Address,’ Lewis said then.
That’s when Wilson originally announced she would sit out, as did Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters, of California, and Pramila Jayapal, of Washington state.
On Friday, they were joined by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, who said in a statement she was boycotting the address ‘because I refuse to normalize President Donald Trump and his loathsome language and actions.’
‘With every day that passes, a new tweet, breaking news story, or leaked quote sheds new light on President Trump’s twisted and prejudiced mind,’ she added.
The congresswoman took particular offense to his ‘s***hole countries’ comment, his reaction to the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last summer, in which he said there were good people on ‘both sides’ of a clash between neo-Nazis, KKK members and white supremacists and counter-protesters, and for the roll-out of his ‘Muslim ban’ last year, which Schakowsky pointed out happened on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
On Sunday, Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York, told MSNBC he would not be there. ‘
‘I cannot give this man, who does not respect me, the respect to be in that audience,’ Meeks said. ‘I will not be there.’
THE DEMOCRATS BOYCOTTING TRUMP’S 2018 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Rep. Danny Davis – 7th district, Illinois
Rep. Earl Blumenauer – 3rd district, Oregon
Rep. Frederica Wilson – 24th district, Florida
Rep. Rep. Jan Schakowsky – 9th district, Illinois
Rep. John Lewis – 5th district, Georgia
Rep. Maxine Waters – 43rd district, California
Rep. Gregory Meeks – 5th district, New York
Rep. Pramila Jayapal – 7th district, Washington
Rep. Bobby Rush – 1st district, Illinois
Rep. Barbara Lee – 13th district, California
Rep. Juan Vargas – 51st district, California
Rep. Albio Sires – 8th district, New Jersey
Meeks was joined by two other black House members, both from Illinois, on Monday as Reps Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, announced they would not attend.
Rush called Trump’s first year in office ‘the most chaotic, divisive, and incompetent’ and said he would not ‘watch as Trump pretends that he’s off to a successful start.’
‘He’s not,’ Rush said in a statement put out by his office.
Late Monday, Rep. Juan Vargas, a Democrat from California, indicated that he would not attend.
‘President Trump continues to disrespect women, insult people of color, and attack our immigrant communities. I will not be attending the State of the Union—I stand in solidarity with all the people he has and continues to disrespect,’ the congressman tweeted.
While a majority of Democratic members boycotting were minorities, the first lawmaker to announce he would be playing hooky was a white guy, Rep. Earl Blumenauer from Oregon.
Blumenauer later said he would be sending in his stead, a ‘dreamer’ to the speech, as Congress continues to debate what happens next with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era order that allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to gain legal status.
Trump has since announced he was scrapping the program and tossed the problem to Congress.
Other Democrats, too, are using their guests as mini-protests.
Rep. Joe Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat whose great-uncle was the late President John F. Kennedy, is bringing a transgender soldier – Staff Sgt. Patricia King – to the State of the Union, to protest the president’s proposed transgender troops ban.
The congressman’s guest was first reported in the Boston Globe.
Kennedy will also be giving the Democrats’ official rebuttal after Trump leaves the dais.
Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen, a Nevada Democrat, is bringing well-known ‘Dreamer’ Astrid Silva as his guest.