Today was a day. Earlier this morning, many of us sat in disgust while Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly, an alleged professional adult, made ugly remarks about U.S. Representative Maxine Waters. During a segment on Fox & Friends, a clip of Waters giving an impassioned speech addressing Trump voters was shown. Instead of O'Reilly assuming his role as an anchor, and providing a sound rebuttal concerning Waters’ speech, he instead made childish comments about her hair.
“I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig," he said. Then, to further dispel the notion that maybe what audiences just heard was a mistake, he continued by asking the producers to pull up an image of James Brown.
This was how the day began.
Soon after, White House press secretary Sean Spicer lost his cool during a press meeting after reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, asked him questions about Russia. She disagreed with responses. He then rudely responded to her while asking she NOT to shake her head at him.
After an onslaught of anger and criticism on Twitter towards both instances, a hashtag was born.
“Today, we were told a Black woman's hair matters more than her voice, and our choices are under the control of others, tweeted educator and activist Brittany Packnett. “This happens to black women everyday at work. Share your Maxine and April moments, so people don't think this is rare. Use #BlackWomenAtWork,” she continued.
The hashtag was soon the number one trending topic on Twitter as Black women shared stories affirming what Packnett stated.
Packnett then sent out a series of tweets about her own personal Spicer and O'Reilly moments.“Every black woman meets at least 3 @oreillyfactor's and 5 @seanspicer's a day...,” she said. “When I started #BlackWomenAtWork today I sadly knew it would trend. Not because I'm special. Because I know how we get treated.”
Soon after Waters herself tweeted a message using the hashtag. “I am a strong black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I'm not going anywhere. #BlackWomenAtWork.”