Biden Diplomat Apologizes for Saying Afghan Women Need ‘Black Girl Magic’
Morgan Phillips, Daily Mail, February 16, 2023
Karen Decker, the top U.S. diplomat to Afghanistan, said in a now-deleted tweet that Afghan women needed some ‘Black Girl Magic’ while being oppressed under Taliban rule.
She added celebrities like Beyonce and Lizzo might be able to share wisdom with Afghan women, who have been essentially shut out of school and work entirely since the Taliban takeover.
Decker, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter on 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.
In another tweet that has now been deleted, Decker tried to downplay Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and highlight National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Day.
On Monday, she tweeted: ‘Abe Lincoln born today in 1809. He did some stuff. It’s also NAACP day, home of grassroots activism, inclusive communities and making sure Black voices are heard. What does that look like for Afghans struggling to be heard? #BlackHistoryMonth @NAACP @LincolnsCottage.’
Decker issued an apology after deleting the messages.
‘Sometimes our best intentions go awry because we haven’t listened enough or don’t truly understand others’ lived experience. My efforts to celebrate courageous African Americans this month fall in that category. I apologize to any and all who I may have offended or hurt.’
State Department spokesman Ned Price was asked about the remarks in a briefing Wednesday and said that her comments had not been cleared by the State Department to tweet.
‘The messaging in this context is rather inappropriate and ineffective,’ Price said during a briefing on Wednesday.
‘This is unfortunately not a parody account,’ Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said in response to the ‘Black Girl Magic’ tweet.
Decker’s remarks come a year and a half after the U.S.’s frenzied withdrawal from Afghanistan which left its people at the mercy of Taliban rule.
Since then, Taliban have banned women and girls from attending college or high school. Women are not allowed to visit parks in Kabul or use gyms all across the country.
Women must wear full-face and body hijab and can no longer work in most sectors. They must be accompanied by a male chaperone if they travel more than 75 kilometers (46 miles).
Decker previously headed U.S. efforts to relocate Afghans after the U.S. withdrawal and worked as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from September 2018 to September 2020.