Professor Viator Discusses Rise of Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Thursday, April 27, 2017
Photo of Congresswoman Maxine Waters

MIC -- “Maxine Waters, in many ways, is taking up the mantle of what [police reform activists are] doing at the state level,” Felicia A. Viator, an assistant History professor at San Francisco State University who’s researched Love’s case extensively, said. “This is a period that we don’t typically associate with that kind of bold, anti-police activism on the state level, much less the national level, [because] we tend to think the Black Panther Party sort of dissipates in the early ’70s, and then there’s this downtime.”

As a prelude to Waters’ now-infamous calls for Trump's impeachment, she repeatedly called for Police Chief Daryl Gates’ resignation. She wrote at least three editorials in the Sentinel between 1979 and 1982 demanding that Gates step down. In each one, Waters reminded readers of the black locals who had been killed by police, and every time she listed Eula Love's name first.

Maxine Waters “immediately goes to the LA Times ... knowing that she needs a bigger audience for this, and says explicitly that this is about race,” Viator, the historian, said. “She charges the LAPD ... with being trained to be tough specifically with black people, and she implies that the LAPD, the police are trained to fear black community members.”

Photo courtesy of Maxine Waters