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DETROIT, MI – Flint hip-hop artist Mama Sol performed her original single, Hard to Swallow, in front of thousands at the Women’s Convention on Saturday, Oct. 28.
“We come in peace with the intent to increase and restore hope for the hopeless and love is the focus. I pray that this message will reach far beyond those clouds, God, we need you involved now; your spirit is needed so this isn’t repeated. Why is it like this, the crisis, I cry with my right fist lifted for my brothers and sisters,” the song goes. “What made you go and change the water source that Flint gets? Answer me that, emergency management. Obvious fact, your family’s not residents of the city affected by your lack of concern. Your inappropriate protocol, cutting the costs. But what’s the sense in saving money when lives are lost?”
While the song is about the Flint water crisis, Mama Sol explained at a panel later that day that she had originally written portions of the lyrics after seeing refugee camps suffering from drought in Africa.
The performance was delivered as a part of the Sojourner Truth Luncheon, which honored Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) for speaking truth to power.
Waters received multiple standing ovations during her impassioned speech, which targeted those accused of sexual harassment, including President Donald Trump; she would later lead the convention hall in a chant of “impeach forty-five.”
“It is very fortuitous that we are gathered here this afternoon in Detroit as we continue to witness a record number of women who are boldly coming forward to reveal disturbing and grotesque acts of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, often times at the hands of men who believed that they were too powerful or too rich to ever be held accountable,” Waters said. “We have learned that it’s not only Hollywood actresses and entertainers who have been targeted and assaulted by such perverted and disgusting people; it is also members of Congress like my colleagues Jackie Spear, Gwen Moore, and other politicians, teachers, nurses, women in the military, and so many others who may have lived in shame or fear but have now boldly come forward with their own “me too” stories and have exposed just how prevalent rape culture is in our society.”
“Donald Trump is the most dishonorable and despicable human being to ever serve in the office of the President. His declaration of being able to grab women by their private parts or his own history with sexual assault violations and disrespect of women is the kind of mentality that sends a message to men and young boys that if the President of the United States can get away with it, so can I,” she continued, before bringing up a portion of Hillary Clinton’s recently released memoir, What Happened, in which she describes her feelings during the second of three presidential debates when Trump followed her movements on stage. “I was there in Missouri at the second debate when he stalked Hillary Clinton and stood behind her, breathing down her back in an effort to intimidate her. And as I listen to her today talk about her experiences doing that campaign and she said she wanted so badly to turn around and look at him and say ‘creep, get off my back,’ and the reason she didn’t is because the political consultants and handlers tell us that we can’t do certain things and we can’t say certain things; we have to stop taking that advice. If anybody does that to you, and any of these men try and intimidate you and put you into place, just remember what Hillary should have said and say, ‘creep, get off my back!’”
Clinton stopped in Ann Arbor earlier that week to promote the memoir.
Waters’ speech was preceded by speeches from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and the president of Emily’s List, Stephanie Schriock, who announced that more than 20,000 women have declared an interest in running for office since the 2016 election.
The Women’s Convention was organized by the Women’s March, who hosted the largest protest in history on Jan. 21, 2017, with sister marches taking place on all seven continents, to protest the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. The convention ran from Friday, Oct. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 29 in Detroit’s recently renovated Cobo Center, and featured the slogan “Reclaiming Our Time,” a reference to a viral video of Waters speaking during a House committee hearing in July.