Last Thursday, California Rep. Maxine Waters once again proved she won't tolerate nonsense. During a hearing conducted by the House Financial Services Committee, Waters questioned Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on why he hadn't responded to a letter she'd sent about President Trump's financial connections to the Russian government. Mnuchin sidestepped the question several times, prompting Waters to repeatedly declare that she was "reclaiming my time," a phrase used to reset the clock when people stall during questioning by a House member. While that may have been the definition of the phrase, in no time, memes jokes, and tributes were spreading like wildfire on social media.
"Thank you very much, I don't want to take my time up with how great I am."
Mnuchin first tried to soften Waters' demeanor with flattery: "First of all, let me thank you for your service to California. Being a resident of California, I appreciate everything that you've done for the community there..." But Waters could see the direction Mnuchin wanted to take and immediately said, "Thank you very much, I don't want to take my time up with how great I am."
Mnuchin continued praising the California representative, prompting Waters to break in with the now-viral phrase: "Reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time." House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling then granted Waters her reclaimed time.
Waters reiterated her question — "Is there some reason why I did not get a response to the letter that I sent May 23rd?" — numerous times and in every instance, Mnuchin failed to immediately provide an answer, compelling Waters to reclaim her time yet again. "Just please, go straight to the answer," she urged him at one point.
Waters' insistence on getting straight to business was inspirational to women and people of color — and, above all, to black women — who related to the experience of being spoken over and having their time wasted. Check out how some reacted to Waters' latest viral moment.
Most Of The World For The Next Three And A Half Years
Push Alert: Trump just—— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) July 29, 2017
Me: RECLAIMING. MY. TIME.
"Reclaiming My Time," the story of a people. pic.twitter.com/ZRlHNbQamt— deray mckesson (@deray) July 28, 2017
Definitely Think So
Since Auntie Maxine did it are we greenlit to start saying "reclaiming my time" in meetings when men interrupt us?— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) July 29, 2017
Asking for myself.
The New Way To Handle Small Talk
"how ar-"— Reclaiming My Time (@BroderickGreer) July 28, 2017
"RECLAIMING MY TIME"
This Needs To Exist
Reclaiming My Time: a Collection of Essays on Black Women Who are Sick of White Men's Mediocrity— Professor Boynton (@ADBoyntonII) July 28, 2017
Can't Blame You
Going forward, "Reclaiming my time!" is how I'll verbally enforce self-care upon detection of the slightest bit of fuckery. QUEEN MAXINE. pic.twitter.com/ADglWkPPg0— Joshua Henry Jenkins (@joshjenks) July 28, 2017
Men Better Get Ready
Billboard #1 Album Material
Seriously, We Need This
One Long Thesis...
I want to write a thesis titled #ReclaimingMyTime : An ode to all of the meetings that could've been emails— chelle 🎀 (@chelletasticcc) July 29, 2017
Adjust That Attitude Around Maxine
One Of The Best Things To Happen In 2017
It Works In So Many Situations
She's Too Right
Just Get To The Point
When You Already KNOW You're Great
When Auntie Maxine said "I don't want to waste time listening to you tell me how great I am..." it resonated with me on a spiritual level.— Height Supremacist. (@ImJustCeej) July 29, 2017
Already Bringing Results
Yesterday, I used "don't MAKE me reclaim my time" on a room of entitled men. They shut up. The Maxine magic is real, y'all. https://t.co/Tu3FD4TALU— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 30, 2017
Keep It Simple
When I say "Good Morning" and you give me a whole speech...I'm gonna stop you and yell "reclaiming my time" pic.twitter.com/tbZHdX8idY— Petty Eddie (@TheExpertEddie) July 28, 2017
Next Time You Get Hit With A Pickup Line...
Random dude: What's your fantasy?— monet p. thomas (@monetwithlove) July 28, 2017
M: Reclaiming my time.
This Phrase Is Going To Get A LOT Of Use
This will be my new motto whenever Trump's relentless madness starts to take over my life. Reclaiming my time! pic.twitter.com/HXtLkID6iz— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) July 31, 2017
Along With Your Time, There's A Lot Else To Reclaim
Reclaiming my time.— Brittany Josephina (@brittanyphina) July 31, 2017
Reclaiming my voice.
Reclaiming my narrative.
Reclaiming my magic.
Reclaiming my liberation.
Reclaiming my space.
On Friday, Waters shared a tweet by Racquel Willis, national organizer of the Transgender Law Center, embracing "reclaiming my time" as her new catchphrase.