The San Bernardino California Deputy District Attorney was just suspended for calling Congresswoman Maxine Waters a “loud-mouthed cunt in the ghetto” on Facebook. In a post that has since been deleted, the Deputy also said, “you would think someone would have shot this bi+ch by now.”
The San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office has launched an internal investigation against Deputy DA Michael Selyem and suspended him for his racist comment. But time off from work is not accountability!
On June 25, an employee within the District Attorney’s Office revealed screenshots of Selyem’s social media comments. District Attorney Michael Ramos claims Selyem’s remarks do not reflect the values of his office, but Selyem remains on the DA payroll.
Despite knowing about the racist remarks for two weeks, DA Ramos did not suspend Selyem until community members voiced their outrage.
Selyem has a history of degrading our nation’s most marginalized communities. On Facebook, Selyem has targeted Black women, immigrants, and victims of police violence. The prosecuting attorney even captioned a manipulated image of Michelle Obama with the vile and disgusting comment “Trump grabbed my penis.” Selyem’s anti-Black, misogynistic, and xenophobic remarks reveal a racist agenda.
For the last 12 years, Selyem has been responsible for prosecuting gang-related crimes in mostly Black and brown communities, but it is impossible to uphold justice while simultaneously embracing hateful sentiments. Selyem has fundamentally violated the code of ethics that shape his profession.
In a country where Black women are impacted by police violence at nearly five times the rate of white women, inciting harm against Black women has real-life consequences. By disrespecting prominent Black women like Maxine Waters and Michelle Obama, white supremacists like Selyem can continue rationalizing their abuse and hatred of Black women.
It is the belief that Black women are undeserving of protection that led former Oklahoma City police officer, Daniel Holtzclaw, to sexually assault 13 vulnerable Black women. He thought no one would care. It is the belief that Black women are incapable of feeling pain that emboldened a California highway police officer to viciously attack a Black woman, Marlene Pinnock, on the side of the road. It is the racist stereotype that Black women are always loud, disrespectful, and dangerous that allowed Saraland police officers to physically assault, humiliate, and wrongfully arrest Chikesia Clemons at Waffle House two months ago.
We cannot allow the disrespect of Black women to go unchallenged. Congresswoman Waters has been the target of relentless attacks since Trump took office. From former Fox News host, Bill O’Reilly mocking her appearance, Trump questioning her intelligence, to now current calls for her assassination.
Color Of Change members, activists, and allies across the country fought against Bill O’Reilly’s degradation of Congresswoman Waters and other Black women and we successfully ended his career. We can do it again with Selyem.
Selyem’s bigotry represents the ideology that Trump’s ‘Make America Hate Again’ movement is igniting. I cannot sit back and watch this dangerous mindset be at the helms of power in my community. We must take action to let San Bernardino and people across the nation know that misogyny directed towards Black women will not be tolerated!