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    Wednesday, June 19, 2024

    Rep. Crockett calls Rep. Greene’s ‘fake eyelashes’ comment a racist attack

    Washington – U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, said Friday that she had been racially targeted by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene when the Georgia Republican insulted her “fake eyelashes” during a committee hearing the night before.

    “She is racist,” Crockett told reporters at the Capitol. “I don’t have any questions about that.”

    The exchange between Greene and Crockett, who responded with her own shot at Greene’s appearance, went viral online and had reporters asking representatives about broader implications for civility and the ability of the House to function.

    Greene aides did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

    Crockett is serving her first term after succeeding longtime U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas. She is a member of the House Oversight Committee, which has been mired in bitterly partisan fighting this session.

    Crockett said Friday she is attacked online, often by supporters of Greene and former President Donald Trump, whenever she confronts Republicans on the committee.

    Online critics frequently attack her appearance, Crockett said, with comments about her having fake nails, hair or eyelashes.

    “That is them attacking me, really, as a Black woman, and all they’re trying to do is be like racists. That’s it. That’s all it is, is racism,” Crockett said. “And [Greene] decided that she was going to be that person out loud and out front [during the hearing]. The difference is I just wasn’t going to take it laying down.”

    Asked about the incident, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, said House members need to treat each other with dignity and respect.

    “It was not a good look for Congress and we all, I think, need to control the emotions better and get the job done, and that’s what we’re trying to do here,” Johnson told ABC News. “Decorum in the House is an important tradition to maintain, so we’ll be talking about that with our members. I think [Minority Leader] Hakeem Jeffries needs to do the same on the Democrat side.”

    The Oversight Committee met Thursday to consider holding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s conversations with special counsel Robert Hur.

    The session had been scheduled for the morning but was postponed until late evening because some committee Republicans had traveled to New York to be in court with Trump during his hush money trial.

    That meant tensions were already high before Greene asked whether any committee Democrats were employing the consultant daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing Trump’s trial.

    “Please tell me what that has to do with Merrick Garland,” Crockett responded, adding a moment later: “Do you know what we’re here for?”

    After some crosstalk between Crockett and Greene, the Georgia Republican said, “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

    Democrats on the committee swiftly rose to Crockett’s defense.

    “That’s beneath even you, Ms. Greene,” said U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the committee’s top Democrat.

    U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, asked that Greene’s words about Crockett be “taken down” as a violation of committee rules against personal attacks, a procedure that would have prevented Greene from speaking further during the hearing.

    “That is absolutely unacceptable, how dare you attack the physical appearance of another person?” Ocasio-Cortez said.

    “Are your feelings hurt?” Greene said.

    “Oh girl, baby girl, don’t even play,” Ocasio-Cortez said as the session devolved from there.

    As members and staff conferred, they could be heard on hot mics debating whether Greene could be allowed to remain if she apologized and whether such an apology would be sincere.

    “You will never get an apology out of me,” Greene said later.

    After the chairman ruled against Ocasio-Cortez, Crockett asked for recognition to “better understand” the ruling.

    “If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach-blonde, bad-built butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?” she said in an obvious reference to Greene.

    That prompted more back-and-forth between members as they continued to talk over one another and hurl insults.

    Crockett said Friday she had no regrets about using physical-appearance language during the hearing, adding she needed to demonstrate she was willing to stand up for herself to show she would stand up for her constituents.

    She said she waited patiently for the committee’s Republican chairman to follow the rules and take Greene’s words down, but after he declined, she wanted to know how the committee was going to operate and whether only Greene was allowed to make insults.

    She also suggested Greene was looking for attention that will help her raise money from supporters.

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