Rep. Jahana HayesJahana HayesGOP MP Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Democratic MP Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill’s Morning Report – sponsored by Facebook – Washington on the sidelines amid a SCOTUS vacancy MORE (D-Conn.) Says she is “out of order” after a virtual town hall she hosted was repeatedly interrupted by racist slurs.
Hayes, the first black congresswoman to represent the state of Connecticut, has hosted several town halls on Zoom as part of her re-election campaign.
Hayes in a Medium essay tells that She was hosting her fourth meeting when she heard someone say, “Shut up, N-word.”
According to Hayes, two other people continued the harassment for six minutes. Someone in the group chat has also repeatedly posted “GO PICK YOUR COTTON”, according to Hayes.
After the town hall closed, the congresswoman said she had only nine minutes before another meeting to calm down after the racist onslaught she had just witnessed.
“Black women are expected to go ahead and ignore this behavior. not talking about it explicitly because it is uncomfortable, divisive, or doesn’t reflect most people’s feelings, ”she wrote.
“I’ve watched other women weather this storm and fend off these kinds of attacks, wondering if they felt what I was feeling in their quiet places. We have become numb to this behavior, instinct kicks in and we just move on. So many well-meaning people say things like: ignore it, you’re better than that, or don’t be bothered. “
David X. Sullivan, Hayes’ Republican challenger, tweeted about the incident, saying: “It is appalling that a bigoted coward should be directing insults against Congressman Hayes, disrupting and disrupting legitimate campaigning activity, and tarnishing the reputation of the good people of the 5th District would from Connecticut. “
It is appalling that a bigoted coward should abuse Congressman Hayes, disrupt and disrupt legitimate campaigning activity, and tarnish the reputation of the good people of Connecticut’s 5th District. https://t.co/oye9bDgVQD
– David X. Sullivan (@DavidXSullivan) October 13, 2020
Hayes’ experience is just one of myriad coordinated attacks on video conferencing software that has seen a boom in use since the pandemic began.
In one (n items Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change, published by Al Jazeera, said, “In the US in particular, there is a story where black people have disrupted their community events: Recently, white nationalists have shot black churches to death. Now our zoom gatherings are being targeted. Technology is supposed to bring us into the future, but instead it pulls us into the past. “
In April the zoom announced new security upgrades this was aimed at stopping such harassment.