One U.S. official ignited a firestorm after she suggested in a since-deleted tweet that Afghan girls and women need a "movement" similar to "Black Girl Magic" as they remain starved of even their basic rights under Taliban leadership.
United States Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan Karen B. Decker tweeted Wednesday, "Are Afghans familiar with #BlackGirlMagic and the movement it inspired? Do Afghan girls need a similar movement? What about Afghan Women?"
"Teach me, ready to learn. @Beyonce @lizzo @ReginaKing," it read.
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The tweet, which was deleted, was widely criticized for being tone-deaf, as women in the country endure sweeping oppression under Taliban rule.
"And they said the adults were back in charge," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in response.
"What an embarrassment," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote. "And a perfect example of the Biden Administration prioritizing wokeness over competence."
"This is unfortunately not a parody account," Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said.
Another user, communications director for Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., said, "This is so cringe we’re going to have to apologize to the Taliban."
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"Beyond parody. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad," Christina Pushaw, an aide to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, R, wrote.
Decker's comments come a year and a half after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan prompted the mass exodus of Americans, U.S. allies, and vulnerable Afghan refugees from the Taliban-controlled state.
Women, since the U.S. withdrawal, have faced an uphill battle to maintain their basic human rights while being treated as second-class citizens, despite the Taliban initially assuring the world otherwise.
The Taliban have banned women and girls from attending universities, barring them from receiving secondary education among various other restrictions.
Foreign minsters from the U.S. and allies such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, among others, condemned the Taliban for its curtailment of basic freedoms for women and girls in a joint statement in December.
"The Taliban have issued no fewer than 16 decrees and edicts that, among other things, constrain women’s mobility, remove women from places of work, require head-to-toe coverings for women, ban women from using public spaces such as parks and gyms and leave widows and women-headed households in dire circumstances by the requirement of male guardianship," the statement read.
Secretary of State Ned Price was asked about Decker's remarks during a press briefing on Wednesday. He said her comments had not been cleared with the State Department when she published the tweet.
"The messaging in this context is rather inappropriate and ineffective," Price said during a briefing on Wednesday.