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Waters’ Words Muddy Chauvin Conviction

Because of Biblical wisdom literature, Christians are well aware that the words one speaks have a lot of power. For example, Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Words have a lot of power. They can calm a conflict or call to action. Nonetheless, most of us do not spend every minute carefully evaluating every word.

At a rally in Minnesota before the sentencing of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, Representative Maxine Waters told a crowd of demonstrators:

"We're looking for a guilty verdict. And we're looking to see if all of this [inaudible] that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd…And we've got to get more active…[We've] got to get more confrontational…We've got to make sure that they know we mean business." [1]

Unfortunately for her, Waters may have inadvertently undercut the very verdict that she was hoping for as the outcome. This statement was interpreted as a call to violence, leading Alan Dershowitz to compare Waters’ comments to KKK tactics meant to “intimidate the jury.” [2]

Even though Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges of murder and manslaughter [3], the judge in the case told the defense that "I'll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned." [4]

The Bible teaches in James 3:1 that “not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Thus, we know that people in positions of power and authority have an even higher responsibility than laymen to be careful with their words.

Similarly, Waters was held to a higher standard of scrutiny as a resolution was introduced into the House of Representatives to censure her conduct. Although the resolution failed, Waters was sent a clear message that her behavior was deemed unacceptable by a significant number of her colleagues. [5]

Any call of violence ought to be condemned. One cannot simultaneously have the moral high ground and be down in the mud with one’s opponents. As Matthew 5:44 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Whenever we approach controversial issues, it is critical that we do so without endangering the integrity of our own position and without calling for unbiblical acts of violence.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] “Hear Maxine Waters' controversial remark about Chauvin trial,” CNN (April 19, 2020),

[2] Cheryl Teh, “Alan Dershowitz accused Maxine Waters of using 'KKK tactics' to intimidate the jury in the Chauvin murder trial,” Business Insider (April 21, 2021),

[3] Aaron Cooper and Eric Fiegel, “Derek Chauvin, convicted in the murder of George Floyd, to be sentenced June 16,” CNN (April 23, 2021),

[4] Alex Seitz-Wald, “Chauvin trial judge says Maxine Waters' 'confrontational' protest remarks could fuel appeal,” MSNBC (April 19, 2021),

[5] Sarah Ferris & Melanie Zanona,“GOP fails to censure Waters with nation on edge over Chauvin verdict,” Politico (April 20, 2021),

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