Women, Hillary Clinton among them, stand up for April Ryan, Maxine Waters — they ‘were simply doing their jobs’

Two separate incidents involving a black congresswoman and a black White House reporter sparked outrage on social media, leading to the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork. (The Washington Post) 

Only a few hours apart on Tuesday, two black women were confronted by white, male public figures in exchanges that many viewed as demeaning and disparaging.

First, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday seemed to criticize Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) because of her appearance — comparing her hair to a “James Brown wig,” for which he later apologized.

And in a press briefing later, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told veteran reporter April Ryan to “Please, stop shaking your head again.”

Their words provoked angry reactions on Twitter and made headlines on cable news shows. But to many women, the comments were not all that surprising.

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Chris Alexakis