MTG claims that calling her a "white supremacist" is the same as calling a Black person the "N-word"

Jamaal Bowman accused MTG of using a “bullhorn to put a target on my back” after she called him "threatening"

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published May 18, 2023 2:39PM (EDT)

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jamaal Bowman (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jamaal Bowman (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said on Thursday that she feels "threatened" by Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., following a widely publicized argument they had outside the Capitol on Wednesday, The Hill reports.

Greene at a Thursday news conference said that she is "very concerned" about the "history of aggression" she claimed Bowman has toward her and other members of Congress. She described her perspective of the altercation, saying that Bowman approached her "yelling, shouting, raising his voice," which led to the argument.

"He has aggressive — his physical mannerisms are aggressive," she said, adding, "I think there's a lot of concern about Jamaal Bowman, and I am concerned about it. I feel threatened by him."

The heated exchange came shortly after Bowman and fellow Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., heckled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., while he was responding to questions from press, reportedly yelling that he should not still be in office. Earlier that day, the House voted to impede efforts to expel the freshman congressman after he was indicted on 13 criminal charges last week

A video of the clash shared to Twitter by The Daily Beast reporter Ursula Perano showed Bowman and Greene disagreeing on whether Santos should be expelled before the conversation devolved into a shouting match between the representatives. 

"Expel him, save the party, the party is hanging by a thread," Bowman said at the start of the video.

Greene retorted that President Joe Biden should leave office first, launching her fist into the air while she chanted "impeach Biden."

The pair then engaged in a spirited back-and-forth, throwing verbal jabs at each other about QAnon, the debt ceiling and guns.

"No more QAnon," Bowman said. 

"No more CNN," replied Greene, who was removed from her committee assignment in 2021 for embracing QAnon-inspired conspiracies and advocating violence against Democrats.

The confrontation escalated when Bowman and Greene turned their attention to the U.S.-Mexico border. Bowman blamed the current state of the situation on former President Donald Trump, while Greene repeatedly returned responses about "missing" migrant children.

"Let me tell you something Jamaal, you're not very smart, you should pay attention," Greene is shown saying before turning away from Bowman, who was still shouting.

The argument appeared to end when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tapped on Bowman's shoulder to diffuse the situation.

"She ain't worth it, bro," she repeatedly said to Bowman before walking away.

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Greene claimed on Thursday that Bowman accosted her with a "mob" when she traveled to New York to protest Trump's indictment on felony charges of falsifying business records. She said that Bowman cursed at her, "shouted at the top of his lungs" and called her a "white supremacist," a remark that deeply offended her.

"That is like calling a person of color the N-word, which should never happen," she said. "Calling me a white supremacist is equal to that, and that is wrong." 

Greene added that she felt "swarmed" and feared for her life.

Bowman decried Greene's statements, calling them "reckless" and "dangerous" and saying that the right-wing congresswoman was "not even using a dog whistle" but a "bullhorn to put a target on my back."

He said that her language employs racist tropes that have historically incited the racist killings of Black Americans like Emmett Till in 1955 and Michael Brown in 2014.

"Throughout history, Black men have continually been characterized as aggressive because, one, of our skin color, but two, because we happen to be outspoken and passionate about certain issues," Bowman said. 

He added that he never imposed on Greene's personal space and was laughing during their exchange.

"Anyone who has interacted with me, anyone who knows me, any reporters here know I'm middle school principal energy. I'm teacher energy," he said. "I'm always loving and engaging and friendly, except when kids are being killed in our streets. Everyone should be outraged about that." 

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

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Aggregate Alexandria Ocasio-cortez George Santos Jamaal Bowman Marjorie Taylor Greene Politics