Erika Donalds, the wife of Rep. Byron Donalds, responded on Wednesday to the vitriolic critics of her husband, a second-term Republican congressman from Florida.
What is the background?
Donalds gained notoriety last week after the faction of 20 Republicans who were blocking Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid coalesced around Donalds. In several ballots, Donalds received 20 votes. Had he received enough to win the speakership, Donalds would have become the first black House speaker.
Democrats in particular have lashed out against Donalds. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) called him a mere “prop” who bolsters white supremacy. MSNBC host Joy Reid, meanwhile, questioned Donalds’ ability to lead in a contentious interview.
What did Mrs. Donalds say?
Despite her husband being a black man, Donalds said the “most racist attacks” against him come from the left, from Democrats and liberals.
“Byron and I have been together for 23+ years, and the most racist attacks we experience are always from the left,” she tweeted. “They can’t accept that a free thinking black man achieves success on his own merits, and they sure as heck can’t stand that he’s married to me!
“Cry harder, haters,” she mocked.
Along with her defiant message, Donalds included many of the racist comments that people have slung even at her.
Many of the messages spotlight the fact that Rep. Donalds, a black man, married a white woman.
“Surprise surprise, his wife is… nevermind,” one person said. Another tweeted, “No surprise he has a snowflake for a wife.”
“Byron Donalds has a white, fascist wife! She’s the new Ginni Thomas! Maybe she can betray her country too!” another person tweeted about her.
Donalds also responded directly to Reid, singling out the fact that Reid repeatedly interrupted Rep. Donalds.
“Joy Reid wouldn’t allow my husband speak because he kept making her look foolish!” Mrs. Donalds said. “He brought facts and receipts, while all she had were empty Democrat talking points. @ByronDonalds showed her (and everyone) why he would be well qualified for [speaker of the House]!”
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