Friday, December 28, 2018
By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
US Congresswoman Maxine Waters was a well known spectator at the 2018 Junkanoo Boxing Day Parade — a tradition she and her husband have shared for more than a decade.
Ms Waters sat in the front row in Parliament Square and avidly watched the festivities.
The well-known politician, fondly known as “Aunty Maxine” by legions of supporters, took a few moments to speak to reporters about her history with The Bahamas, her love of the culture, the political climate of the United States and the status of women politicians worldwide.
“My husband (Sidney Williams) was a former ambassador to The Bahamas from the United States for four and a half years (1994-1998), supported by (former US President Bill) Clinton,” Ms Waters said.
“And so we’ve been coming here for many years and certainly we love Junkanoo. So we try to get here every year. I think we’ve only missed two years in the last 10 or 15 years.”
When asked if she has a particular group for whom she roots, Ms Williams name-dropped one but expressed her admiration for all the participants.
“I have to be careful,” she said. “But everybody loves the Saxons, and all of them are great.”
Ms Waters also discussed her feelings regarding spending the holidays in a majority black nation such as the Bahamas compared with the current racially-charged political climate in the United States. She reiterated her love for The Bahamas while revealing her aspirations for the future of the US.
“Well, I want to tell you — I’m always very, very happy to be here. I love the culture, I love the music, I love the people,” she said.
“And I want you to know that despite the fact that we are struggling in the United States with some very difficult situations, we just have to keep working at it, we have to keep trying. And I believe that if you fight you can win.”
Ms Waters also expressed her hopes for female politicians in The Bahamas.
“Women are on the move all over the world and it’s inevitable,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time. Women are (going to) emerge here. I’m looking forward to a woman being prime minster someday.”
Ms Waters currently represents the 43rd District of California. The Democratic Caucus recently selected her to serve as the first woman and first African-American to chair the House Financial Services Committee of the United States. Ms Waters will assume office on January 3, 2019.
She has also verbally sparred with US President Donald Trump, saying he deserves to be impeached.