The democratic congressional leaders took a knee at an event honoring Gorge Floyd who was killed when a police officer took a knee on his neck. They stayed on a bent knee for exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the exact amount of time the officer was caught on film keeping his knee directly on the neck of Flloyd. The issue many raised with the publicity stunt was the fact that the congressional leaders donned the traditional African Kente cloth around their necks. Many have raised concerns that the democrats were simply looking to capitalize on the moment in the media and should never have worn the African garb when they are not connected to or even aware of its real significance. Some even went as far as to slam the congressmen and women for their obvious publicity stunt and how they simply looked for a moment to get themselves back in the forefront of the media cycle once again.

They took a somber moment and made it into something fake and self-serving. This act did not sit well with many who saw the leaders wearing the traditional garb as if they were deeply aware of its true significance. When instead they did it to create more media buzz around themselves to promote their newest bill aimed at curbing police misconduct. This new bill includes directives to create a national police misconduct registry to keep track of those officers who commit acts of official misconduct involving their interaction with the public, specifically with people of color. It also asks for a complete ban on the use of chokeholds and other standard police operating procedures for dealing with indignant and unruly criminals or even just unwelcoming citizens who act in violent and disruptive ways when faced with police contact.

While this bill has little hope of being passed, mostly because of republican pushback against some of the terms inside of the bill, the democratic congresspeople still made a show of themselves promoting it by their taking a knee in the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall. This itself shows some preplanned publicity stunt intention by where they chose to partake in this show of solidarity with those who are protesting the presence of police brutality in America and the way officers are assumed to be dealing with people of color specifically.

While many officers adhere to a strict code of conduct and many are hurt by the accusation of widespread misconduct and being directly accused of abuse. But the real focus was square on the democratic leaders and the traditional African Kente clothe they decided to wear for their moment in the spotlight. Many slammed their choice to dress up for the event with an accessory that is considered in high regard by the real African community who were appalled by the use of their traditional garb in this media show by the mostly non-African congressional leaders. Their use of the Kente cloth upset many and is considered as an insensitive move by many in the community.