On Friday, while attending orientation for incoming House members, the Missouri Representative-elect was wearing a face mask that featured Breonna Taylor’s name written across it. Bush chose to wear the protective gear as a way to bring more attention to Taylor’s story, but according to Missouri’s first Black congresswoman, several of her GOP colleagues had mistakenly assumed “Breonna” was her name, which led her to believe–with good reason– that they were unfamiliar with Taylor’s case.
“It’s Day One, so I’m wearing my “Breonna Taylor” mask. A few of my Republican colleagues have called me Breonna, assuming that’s my name,” she wrote on Twitter. “It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here. Breonna must be central to our work in Congress.”
She went on to tweet out a video of her giving further comments on the matter, writing, “I am Breonna Taylor as far as I could be a Black woman murdered in my bed tonight. But I am not Breonna Taylor. She was murdered and still has not received the justice she deserves.”
In a video posted by The New York Times, Bush expanded on the experience even more.
“People have protested in the streets with this name, and it just saddens me that people in leadership, people that want to be in leadership, don’t know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country,” she said. “And it’s just disheartening. And it was hurtful, absolutely hurtful. I didn’t hear it once, I didn’t hear it twice. I heard it several times. I’m being called, you know, Breonna Taylor today. But it’s OK because we’ll educate and we’ll make sure that people know who she is, what she stood for—that she was an award-winning E.M.T. in her community, that she’s someone who deserves justice right now.”