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Stacey Plaskett Addresses Emotional Toll Of Seeing Black Women Used in Trump Defense

Impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., walks through the first floor of the Senate during a break in the Senate impeachment trial.
Impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., walks through the first floor of the Senate during a break in the Senate impeachment trial.

Responding to a question about the long-term message of the impeachment, Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett talked about the emotional impact of seeing Black women's images used during Trump attorney's defense of the former president, highlighting the racial and gender disparities in the fight for equality.

"The defense council put a lot of videos out in their defense, playing clip after clip of Black women talking about fighting for a cause or an issue or a policy. It was not lost on me as so many of them were people of color, and women, Black women. Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children. Your children," Plaskett said.

Earlier in the day on Friday, Trump's defense attorneys spent a great deal of their closing arguments accusing Democrats of hypocrisy over their support of last summer's protests for racial justice. In doing so, his team played video footage from the summer protests, zeroing in on the relatively rare instances of violence and looting that occurred during the demonstrations.

"This summer things happened that were violent, but there were also things that gave some of us Black women great comfort. Seeing Amish people from Pennsylvania standing up with us. Members of Congress fighting up with us," Plaskett said.

"And so I thought we were past that. I think maybe we're not."

Trump and Republicans spent last summer condemning the protests as violent, despite the largely peaceful nature of the demonstrations. The summer uprising was sparked by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two Black people killed in separate events by police.

"There are long-standing consequences. Decisions like this that will define who we are as a people. Who America is," Plaskett said, urging the Senate to convict Trump on the count of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

"History will wait for our decision."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: February 11, 2021 at 10:00 PM MST
A previous version of this story incorrectly said Stacey Plaskett was making closing remarks. She was actually responding to a question during the Q&A session.