Black Voices in Politics: Congresswomen Cori Bush
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
By: Jada Respress
The radical activist Cori Bush is making her mark in the U.S. House of Representatives becoming the first Black women to represent Missouri in their 200 years of existence, according to the Washington Post. Bush wears many hats as a registered nurse, single mother, and ordained pastor. The “politivist”, as she refers to herself in the Washington Post, is coming to the House of Representatives with a variety of experiences from current medical debt, homelessness, unemployment, police assault, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Although her intent was never to run for office she couldn’t turn a blind eye to her African American community who needed a voice. In her unique situation, that varies from the majority of politicians, that she has lived what she is fighting for.
Her activism took off in 2014 with the murder of Michael Brown, who was shot in the back at the hands of a policeman, took place just minutes away from her home in Ferguson, Misssouri. She spoke out because her son, Zion, was in the same age group, 18-22, as Mike Brown. Bush saw her son as Mike Brown. Which ultimately would be her reasoning for running for office to “save her son”. Bush and others spent over 300 days protesting in the streets of Ferguson seeking justice for Mike Brown and for all African Americans. She, being a registered nurse, also provided focused medical care to the community of Mike Brown. Her activism lead to the officer responsible for Brown’s murder to be terminated. In the following years, Bush was in the frontlines protesting for justice for the lives of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd who also lost their lives at the hands of the police.
After her third attempt to run for a Congressional seat, Bush wins and is the Representative for the 1st Congressional district of Missouri. She is in the House Judiciary Committee with one of the subcommittees being on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Bush’s activism experience has led her to be one of the leading African American voices on the second Impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump. Those in favor of Trump have compared the insurrection on Capitol Hill to the BLM movement. Bush counters that argument by saying “We, referring to the African American protesters, wouldn’t be able to scale the wall, ” according to Rolling Stone.
”I refuse to validate false equivalencies between an insurrectionist white supremacist attack on our nation’s capital and the movement to dismantle the systems of oppression that have been killing black people for centuries — we’re talking about life or death. The insurrection at the Capitol, at its core, was a violent attempt to stop the counting of millions of black and brown and indigenous votes — those are the votes they didn’t want counted… This was an attack to oppress black and brown people, to discredit our democracy. This was an attack — and we have to call it exactly what it was.”
She continues to state that the insurrection that happened on Capitol Hill was nothing short of a white supremacy act. There is no comparison to the fight for justice of the individuals of the African American community who have innocently lost their lives to police brutality. Bush continues to seek change in the policies, procedures, and protocols of the Department of Justice through the one of many subcommittees she currently is a member of. Her “politivist” mindset is stirring up good trouble in Congress and she’s just getting started.
Yuan, Jada. “Cori Bush Marched on the Streets in Ferguson. Now She's about to Take Her Seat in Congress.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 22 Dec. 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/cori-bush-blm-congress-demofrats-squad/2020/12/21/556ac9f4-3cad-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html.
Staff, The St. Louis American, and Photo courtesy of the Office of U.S. Representative Cori Bush (1st District of Missouri. “Rep. Bush Receives Subcommittee Assignments.” St. Louis American, 15 Feb. 2021, www.stlamerican.com/news/local_news/rep-bush-receives-subcommittee-assignments/article_d25508e0-6fc4-11eb-9e26-f7e9065714c2.html.