This week you may have noticed the hashtag #IBelieveFrederica trending on your Twitter feed, or you may have heard the name being discussed on your go-to news station. But who is Frederica Wilson? Why is she suddenly all over the news and social media? And why are so many people supporting her with a new trending hashtag? Keep reading, we’ve got your answers, and the things you should definitely know about the congresswoman.
Firstly, Frederica Wilson is the Democratic representative from Florida who called out President Trump for allegedly making insensitive comments to the widow of a fallen soldier.
On October 4th, an ambush along the Niger-Mali border left four American soldiers dead, including Sgt. La David Johnson. According to the congresswoman, Trump reached out to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. Johnson, to offer his condolences. However during the call, Wilson claims the president said that Johnson’s deceased husband “must have known what he signed up for” — a comment which Congresswoman Wilson deemed insensitive and sarcastic.
The President of the United States has since responded with the following tweet:
Now that we know Congresswoman Wilson is unafraid to stand up for what she believes in, here are five other facts.
1. She is not new to the game of politics.
According to CNN, Wilson was first elected as a Florida state representative in 1998 and became a state senator in 2002 before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2011. She is currently serving as the Democrat rep. for Florida’s 24th District.
2. She was once a school principal.
Before she was a politician, Wilson was the principal of Skyway Elementary in North Dade, Miami. In her CNN interview, she mentioned that this was the same elementary school Johnson’s father attended, which contributed to her close relationship with the family.
3. She LOVES a good cowboy hat.
At first glance, you’re sure to notice the congresswoman’s larger-than-life cowboy hats. These aren’t your regular hats either; Wilson is known to rock colorfully bedazzled hats, and the jazzier, the better. Wilson has been wearing these hats for over 30 years, and they’ve sort of become her trademark. While speaking to Roll Call, she said,
She now owns hundreds.
4. She’s a huge advocate for #BlackLivesMatter.
Congresswoman Wilson gained media attention in 2012, as she was a crucial voice in her city when Trayvon Martin was killed. According to Reuters, she firmly believed Martin was the victim of a “botched police investigation” and racial profiling by Zimmerman simply because he was Black.
She has also used her platform to organize rallies and marches in Miami to call for an end to the killing of other young Black men.
5.She’s friends with The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Phaedra Parks of the TV show, pictured above, traveled to Washington D.C. for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. She met with Rep. Frederica Wilson during her trip and the two took a quick snap together. According to the photo’s caption, they’re sort of besties.
There you have — the most essential (and a few unessential but fascinating) things to know about Congresswoman Wilson.