July 30, 2019
Boston.com: Ayanna Pressley condemns North Carolina gun shop billboard mocking ‘The Squad’
Rep. Ayanna Pressley is calling on Rep. Mark Meadows to condemn an inflammatory billboard in his North Carolina district mocking her and the three other freshman Democratic congresswomen informally known as “The Squad.”
Cherokee Guns, a gun shop in Murphy, North Carolina, first posted a photo of the roadside advertisement Sunday morning on Facebook. The billboard shows the faces of Pressley, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, with the phrase “The 4 Horsemen Cometh are Idiots.”
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump tweeted that the four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries, even though they are all American citizens and only one was born outside the United States.
“#Racist rhetoric from the occupant of the @WhiteHouse has made hate our new normal,” Pressley tweeted Tuesday afternoon, echoing the criticism of national gun safety advocates who attributed Trump’s continued attacks on minority members of Congress for the “dangerous” rhetoric.
“We are still vulnerable,” she added.
Pressley noted that the gun shop’s district is represented by Meadows, a fourth-term Republican congressman and chairman of the right-wing Freedom Caucus. Meadows and Pressley serve together on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Meadows has recently been criticized for not forcefully defending Rep. Elijah Cummings –a close friend and the Democratic chairman of the Oversight committee – in the wake of Trump’s continued attacks on the Maryland congressman and his district. Cummings, who is black, intervened to defend Meadows against allegations of racism back in February.
Pressley’s office says the billboard provides Meadows with another opportunity to condemn hateful rhetoric against a fellow member of Congress.
“Here’s your chance to finally do the right thing,” she wrote.
A spokesman for Meadows did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
Meanwhile, with news of the billboard making national headlines, Cherokee Guns doubled down on its language Monday, promising bumper stickers with the same “4 Horsemen” graphic.