Connecticut’s first black congresswoman writes powerful statement following racist ‘Zoom-bombing’ incident

The intruders praised Donald Trump during their attack

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 15 October 2020 16:41
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Connecticut's first black congresswoman has responded to racial harassment directed at her after someone disrupted her Zoom call.

Rep. Jahana Hayes, a Democrat, was interrupted on her Zoom call on Monday. She said she was holding a meeting with residents of Newtown about her re-election campaign.

At some point, a group of individuals entered the Zoom call and began harassing her by playing "derogatory music" and leaving racist messages in the text chat.

One user wrote "shut up n***** go pick your cotton," over and over again.

Other users expressed their support for Donald Trump.

"Trump is the best president the US has ever had!!!!" one of the Zoom bombers wrote.

Another just repeated "Trump 2020" in the chat.

Following the incident, Ms Hayes wrote an entry in her personal blog entitled "I Am Not OK" in which she described being tired in the face of the blatant racism directed at her.

"Many will question why I would post something so raw and offensive? It is because I realized in that moment that I am not ok. I am not ok that this happened," she wrote.

Ms Hayes expressed frustration at the prospect of having to prove that this racist attack occurred against her in order for it to be taken seriously.

"I am not ok, that this is not the first time this has happened in my life or that I've had to explain that this happens. I am not ok, that I have to post a screenshot to prove it happened," she wrote. "I am not ok, that people will still doubt that it happened or the word of the forty or so participants on the call will be a necessary to 'verify' the incident happened."

She said the attack reminded her that - to racists - no matter what she achieves, she will always be viewed as less than human.

"The most painful part of it all is that no matter what you achieve in life, no matter how many degrees you earn or how good of a person you try to be—all some people will ever allow themselves to see is a N-word," she wrote.

Despite the pain the harassment caused her, Ms Hayes said she would not let it derail her ambitions.

It does not mean that I am broken, or that I will give up. It does not mean that I do not love my country or recognize that one person does not speak for the majority," she wrote. "It means that, tonight I will practice some self care. I will read a book, take a bath and maybe have a good cry and tomorrow I will steady myself and get back to work."

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