Democratic Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence told Attorney General William Barr to “stay woke” during a Congressional budget hearing on Tuesday.
The purpose of the hearing was actually related to the Justice Department’s budget, but Barr faced questions on a broad range of topics from his four-page summary of Mueller’s report and how he planned to handle its eventual release to his opinion on the latest ruling on the Affordable Care Act. (RELATED: Attorney General William Barr Will Release Mueller Report ‘Within A Week’)
When Lawrence began her allotted time, she noted her concern with regard to hate crimes, saying, “According to recent reporting, the Trump administration is pursuing far fewer civil rights cases, including hate crimes, police bias and disability rights cases than the Obama or Bush administrations.”
Lawrence then asked how Barr planned to address that situation going forward. She challenged Barr to “stay woke” — and then paused to explain exactly what she meant.
“Attorney General, I want you to — we use the word ‘stay woke’ sometimes in community activism, [which means] you are in tune with what’s happening on the ground,” Lawrence said. “I appreciate your tenure or your length of time that you’ve been attorney general, but I can tell you that this is something that’s very important and I expect for you to be informed and aware of what’s happening in this area.”
Lawrence went on to explain that her main concern was that Barr might feel beholden to President Donald Trump rather than the American people, which she feels could lead him to support Trump’s policies even when they weren’t necessarily the best course of action for the people.