The Biden administration’s top diplomat to Afghanistan apologized Thursday for a cringeworthy Twitter post in which she suggested that women in the war-torn nation needed some “Black Girl Magic” to overcome the Taliban’s oppression.
“Sometimes our best intentions go awry because we haven’t listened enough or don’t truly understand others’ lived experience,” Chargé d’Affaires Karen Decker tweeted on Thursday.
“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,” Decker added.
Decker was ridiculed on Wednesday for her attempt to celebrate Black History Month by tweeting from her official account: “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.”
The “Black Girl Magic” hashtag was popularized around 2016 and is used on social media to celebrate black women and instill pride in black culture and heritage.
The since-deleted tweet went on to tag prominent African American recording artists Beyonce and Lizzo and actress Regina King.
“I’m speechless,” Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) said of Decker’s tweet.
“Bigger picture—— Replace your deleted tweets to the Afghan girls with US opposition to Taliban not letting them go to school and work,” journalist Emily Miller tweeted in a reply to Decker’s apology.
“Protip: Stop tweeting and process SIVs,” Simone Ledeen, a senior fellow at the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, suggested, referring to special immigrant visas that allow Afghans that assisted the US during the war to leave the country.
“You are not a serious diplomat,” J Michael Waller, a senior analyst at the Center for Security Policy, bluntly told Decker in a tweet.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a briefing on Wednesday that Decker’s tweets “were not tweets that were cleared with the Department of State.”
“I will say that there’s sentiments in her tweet thread that one can appreciate. I think the messaging in this context is rather inappropriate and ineffective, and it is not messaging that we would issue from here,” Price added.
Decker, a career diplomat, was named Chargé d’Affaires at the US Mission to Afghanistan in Qatar in August of last year.
She deleted several other bizarre tweets related to Black History Month in recent days, including a tweet reading: “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?”
And one that said: “Super Bowl LVII. 2 elite QBs who happen to be Black made history in an epic showdown. Congrats to [the Kansas City Chiefs] for thrilling victory! Afghans – what’s the most exciting sporting match you remember?”
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