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Rep.-elect Cori Bush from Missouri shared that her Republican colleagues assumed that “Breonna Taylor” was her name after she wore a mask with Taylor’s name to the Capitol.
During the orientation for new members, she was surprised that her colleagues had not heard Taylor, who was killed by Lousiville police officers in March. He death sparked protests across the country.
“It’s Day One, so I’m wearing my “Breonna Taylor” mask. A few of my Republican colleagues have called me Breonna, assuming that’s my name,” Bush tweeted. “It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here. Breonna must be central to our work in Congress.”
Bush later spoke to reporters about the event, where she further expressed her disappointment in her collegaue’s ignorance.
“I didn’t hear it once, I didn’t hear it twice. I heard it several times,” she said. Bush expressed shock that people elected to represent Americans could be so oblivious about what is happening in Black communities. “This has been national news for a long time,” she said. “People have protested in the streets with this name, and it just saddens me that people in leadership, people that want to be in leadership, don’t know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country.”
Earlier this month, Bush made history when she became Missouri’s first Black congresswoman after beating out Republican nominee Anthony Rogers, securing almost 85 percent of the vote (more than 80,000 votes).
“As the first Black woman and also the first nurse and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress, let me say this,” Bush said during her victory speech. “To the Black women, the Black girls, the nurses, the essential workers, the single mothers: This is our moment.”