George Floyd: US Democrats Wearing Ghana’s Kente Cloth

Scarves consisting of vivid Ghana geometric patterns of Kente were wrapped onto Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic legislators. It was quite a provocative sartorial decision!

George Floyd: US Democrats Wearing Ghana’s Kente Cloth
US Democrats in Ghana's Kente Cloth insult Africans. Twitter Images

After weeks of demonstrations about the killing of an African American, George Floyd, by a white cop, American Democrats in Congress introduced proposals for the overhaul of the police. In a moment of silence for George Floyd, US Democrats knelt wearing Ghana’s Kente cloth.

Social media commentators just decided to focus on one issue: what they were wearing. Scarves consisting of vivid Ghana geometric patterns of Kente were wrapped onto Nancy Pelosi, Member of the House of Representatives, and other Democratic legislators. It was quite a provocative sartorial decision.

Recently, Ghana had a George Floyd funeral acknowledged by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in solidarity with African Americans. Ghana’s Tourism Minister welcomed all the blacks to come back home if they are not wanted in America.

PPresident of Ghana, Nana Addo
President of Ghana, Nana Addo in Kente cloth. Twitter Images

Why were US Democrats Wearing Ghana’s Kente Cloth?

The Congressional Black Caucus issued the Kente scarves to the congressmen and women. This Congressional Group met legislative objectives for African American people to achieve equal opportunities. Kente cloth is about the African legacy for the Democrats.

US Democrats in Kente Cloth
George Floyd: US Democrats Wearing Ghana’s Kente Cloth is an insult to Africans. Twitter Images

“The significance of the Kente cloth is our African heritage and for those of you without that heritage who are acting in solidarity. That is the significance of the Kente cloth – our origins and respecting our past,” Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters on Monday.

Many times, leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus have worn Kente, particularly gatherings in celebrations of the 400th anniversary for the existence of Africans in the United States and President Donald Trump’s State of the Union’s speech in 2018. In the US, Kente has, over the decades, been used to express pride in African origins, especially at graduation ceremonies for candidates from predominantly black brotherhoods or sororities.

What is Kente and where is it from?

Kente Cloth
Complex geometric patterns and rich colors. Twitter Images

characterize contemporary Kente. It has bold yellow, blue, green, red, and orange tones. Silk and cotton are mostly woven in Kente. It is directly linked to the Ashanti Kingdom in Central Ghana and is related to specific celebrations as its make is costly. The skills of the finest weavers are only for the Ashanti royal family-and the king has reserved specified patterns. The current king, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is Asantehene, who in 1999 sat on the throne. He arbitrates conflicts as a beloved and respected figure and works closely on local matters. Nevertheless, the constitution forbids his involvement in Ghana affairs, much like other local figures.

 

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‘The Kneeling Was Fine; The Kente Cloth Was Not’

On Twitter, on Monday, the term ‘Kente’ became popular, triggering several celebrities to chuckle. The Roots drummer, Questlove, posted his doubt and claimed he first assumed he was being snared by it.

The artist, John Legend, was quite shocked by how life mimicked art as last month he was participating in a satire sketch of the Black History Month in the US, which included a satirical track about attaching the Kente cloth to your outfit. Ghana’s response was not as obvious. Ghanaians might be pleased to see the cloth promoted.

Kenyan writer Nanjala Nyabola saw Kente as a slur to the Africans by the Democrats: “We’re not your props.”

Those in the US complained that the topic about the fabric is a distraction from the suggested legislative changes.

One tweeted “Now is NOT the time to learn the history of Kente cloth. I assure you this too is a distraction.”

What are the Proposed Reforms?

The Democrats intend to create the possibility of suing cops for brutality, prohibit chokeholds and tackle racism by extensive reforms to overhaul the police in America. As the bill was revealed, Mrs. Pelosi read the names of African American men and women who died in the hands of police in recent years. It is not evident whether the Democrats will get approval for their initiatives. It is not, therefore, obvious if Republicans controlling the US Senate are going to endorse the rights in the new 2020 Police Act.

On Twitter, US President Donald Trump posted “the Radical Left Democrats want to defund and abandon our police. Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!”

About Faith Sanyu

Faith SanyuI write about world economies and business, the humorous and sarcastic side of politics and world events, lifestyle, religion/beliefs and culture, health, agriculture, history, people's well-being, entertainment, fashion, and humanitarian works.

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