By Lillian Linscott
Michigan Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib, from Detroit, was sworn into Congress Jan. 3, 2019. While speaking at a MoveOn event in Washington, DC, Tlaib made a controversial speech hours after being sworn into office.
“And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Mama look, you won. Bullies don’t win.’ and I said, ‘Baby, they don’t,’ because we’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf****r.”
Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress and has been calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Her comment was received with an influx of negative and positive feedback.
“I will always speak truth to power. #unaplogeticallyMe,” Tlaib tweeted the Friday after.
The Collegiate talked with Grand Rapids Community College students to get their perspectives on the event. One student, Corrina Jewell, 19, from Sparta, told us that she doesn’t agree with President Trump, but also doesn’t believe in impeaching him. Jewell did however support Tlaib’s decision to speak out.
“I think now it’s (being more informal) okay, I mean of course most people don’t think so, cause George Washington never tweeted anything,” Jewell said. “But it’s becoming normalized, and I think that it was very bold of her. That was her opinion, that’s freedom of speech. If you and I said something that’s okay, but because she said something and she’s important, she got in trouble. I don’t think that’s fair.”
Fellow GRCC student Daniel Spes, 19, from Spain, felt the same regarding the speech, however he expressed different thoughts on the impeachment of Trump.
“I don’t know that much about the subject, but I thought it was cool when I heard that an important figure said ‘we’re going to impeach the motherf****r,’” Spes said. “I don’t know how that works, but I think that would be cool. I just hope he doesn’t get elected again. I think (Tlaib’s speech) was well played, I think that (Trump) deserves it…he basically does the same thing to other people, other races.”
Dax Cilley, 19, from Grand Rapids, expressed a similar respect for Tlaib’s bold words.
“I think someone that is in the government speaking candidly about how she feels is something that we should be okay with and it irritates me that she is getting backlash for it,” Cilley said.
Where some students conveyed an appreciation of Tlaib’s speech and ideals, there where others that indicated shock. Johnetta Schilds-James, 20, from Grand Rapids, was surprised to hear about Tlaib’s statement. James said that those in authority should set a good example.
“I don’t know much about her, but I do think that (the speech) was very strong, and I don’t think that it was a good environment, especially if it’s being broadcasted everywhere,” Schilds-James said. “So I think that was pretty bad on her part, but then again if you think about it Trump kinda does the same thing. I kinda don’t like (the informality)…everyone’s gonna start making a joke about everything cause no one is serious anymore…people don’t do well when things get stupid.”