Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson said it was racist for White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to use the term “empty barrel” to describe her during his Thursday press conference.
“That’s a racist term, too. I’m thinking about that one. We looked it up in the dictionary because I had never heard of an empty barrel. And I don’t like to be dragged into something like that,” Wilson said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.” “The only thing I want to be dragged into right now is getting back our girls who are the victims of Boko Haram in Nigeria.”
Kelly said the term was meant to be metaphorical, to represent someone who “makes the most noise,” but Wilson took it as racially demeaning.
MSNBC host Joy Reid echoed Wilson’s calls of racism and tweeted about how Kelly grew up in a “segregated Boston” where blacks were “scored and rejected.”
And Wilson incited controversy Wednesday when she accused President Donald Trump of disrespecting the widow of a soldier who was recently killed in Niger by saying that her husband “knew what he was getting into.”
Kelly issued a harsh rebuke against Wilson after describing how he was “stunned” and “heartbroken” that she had listened in on a call between Trump and the widow of a slain serviceman and then publicized its contents.