On Monday (June 8), House and Senate Democrats donned the Kente cloth, an indigenous Ghanaian textile that’s become a ceremonial stole for Black people in the U.S., while introducing the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020” police reform bill in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and resulting protests.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kamala Harris and more Democratic lawmakers wore the traditional cloth while kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall to commemorate Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for the same amount of time. But artists on Twitter took the whole day to criticize and mock what’s been labeled a senseless fashion disaster rather than a well-meaning fashion statement provided by the Congressional Black Caucus to respect Black Americans’ African heritage, Representative Karen Bass explained at the press conference.
Questlove teased his over 3 million followers that he needed “to come here to make sure the Roots weren’t pranking me” before bursting into laughter over Phonte’s post. “Our duly elected officials acting out a skit from @ShermansShow wasn’t on my 2020 bingo card either,” the North Carolina MC tweeted with a fictional music video titled “Add Some Kente” from IFC’s comedy series, teasing “Panel by panel/ It’s Black people’s flannel.”
John Legend also couldn’t get enough of the satirical clip, writing, “Man. We got the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America to promo a @ShermansShow song #AddSomeKente.”
Check out the stars’ reactions below.