In Latest Speech, Hillary Clinton Defends April Ryan and Maxine Waters Against ‘Indignities’

March 29, 2017, 9:59 AM UTC

In a speech before the Professional BusinessWomen of California in San Francisco on Tuesday night, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the “indignities” women—especially those of color—face daily for “simply doing their jobs.”

In remarks that also touched on the the dearth of women in top Trump administration roles, failed Republican efforts to overhaul Obamacare, and the need for better paid family leave, Clinton cited two recent examples of what she saw as ill treatment of prominent black women.

She cited the heated exchange earlier on Tuesday between Press Secretary Sean Spicer and April Ryan, correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, in which Spicer reprimanded Ryan for shaking her head.

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During a White House briefing, Spicer denied that the administration had any connection to Russia and implied that speculation about such ties was the result of unfounded media reports.

When Ryan pressed him further on the issue and asked about President Donald Trump meeting with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whom Trump called a “bitch” in 2006, Spicer accused Ryan of “having an agenda” and told her, “Please stop shaking your head again.”

Tuesday night, Clinton defended Ryan. “April Ryan, a respected journalist with unrivaled integrity, was doing her job just this afternoon in the White House press room when she was patronized and cut off trying to ask a question,” Clinton said on stage.

The former secretary of state also mentioned Bill O’Reilly’s recent comment about Rep. Maxine Waters’s (D-Calif.) hair. The Fox New host called it a “James Brown wig,” an insult that some interpreted as racist and sexist. Since Trump’s election, Waters has repeatedly blasted the president’s rhetoric and agenda.

“One of our own California congressmen Maxine Waters was taunted with a racist joke about her hair,” Clinton said on Tuesday. “Too many women, especially women of color, have had a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride.”

“But why should we have to?” she said. “And any woman who thinks this couldn’t be directed at her is living in a dream world.”

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