Tiara Mack, a Democrat representing District 6 in Rhode Island, refuses to apologize for a video she uploaded to TikTok last week that shows her twerking on a beach.
Mack posted the eight-second video on July 4. She ends the video with a call to action, urging for her supporters to vote for her in the upcoming election.
Mack dismissed complaints from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who said the video was unprofessional, telling TMZ that she is "never going to become a fake politician" and that "she doesn't think an apology is in order for something that is authentically her."
You can watch the video for yourself below.
The video, which has been viewed tens of thousands of times since it was initially uploaded, attracted a slew of misogynistic commentary, particularly from conservatives who suggested that it was indicative of the Democratic Party's moral decline.
It even attracted the attention of Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who said that Mack, "head in the sand, twerking" shows voters that "that's the Democratic Party in 2020."
Mack told TMZ that the response to the video "has been a very targeted attack on my person" and suggested that it highlights the inherent racism within the Republican Party.
"It is very convenient for the GOP to try to create a narrative that Black people and people of color are changing society. There is a status quo and just because the status quo is changing and the people who lead our country look different doesn't mean that is bad."
She later uploaded a follow-up video to her TikTok account in which she took her critics to task for attacking bodily autonomy, noting that there is a history in the United States of politicians attacking "historically marginalized communities," particularly "women, people with uteruses... trans individuals, and intersex youth."
Mack noted that as a Black woman, she has "always known" that her body is going to be "policed, critiqued, and scrutinized."
Mack also linked the episode to "abortion justice," noting that communities of color have been fighting for autonomy long before White women were directly impacted by the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
She said that Black people, who historically have had fewer resources available to them in the United States as a result of discriminatory policy, have long waged a battle against the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal agencies, including Medicaid, from paying for abortion expenses.
She also pointed out that the far-right has pushed "a dangerous narrative" that is eroding people's rights to their own bodies and that this is evident in attacks against women and LGBTQ+ communities.
Many have praised her for speaking out.
In a separate video, Mack said that the "consistency and the dedication in which the media decides to target black queer women in ways that are unproductive to the narrative" is both "lazy" and "tacky."
Mack, 28, is the youngest Black state Senator in Rhode Island's history.