This essay explores discourses of Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), appreciating her intersectional standpoint as a leader in Trumpian times, and as the lone AA woman dissenter who has long advocated peace over war in the United States” Congress in the aftermath of two politically seismic shifts: (1) September 11, 2001 and (2) the rise of right wing politics in the U.S. and internationally. As bellicose and right wing politics have expanded, Lee’s nonviolent voice has persisted, offering critiques of (1) post 9/11 and (2) Trump Administration era xenophobic rhetoric, policies, and systems. Rhetoric of White male politicians pervades discourse studies, yet comparatively little has been studied on countervailing peacebuilding discourses of U.S. Congresswomen. This study refocuses discourse scholarship on sociopolitical justice rhetoric across the activist career of Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Lee’s career-spanning politics bears study as successful peacebuilding leadership. Lee’s political discourses espousing peacebuilding exemplify contemporary women of color’s activism, which rebalances foci in discourse studies between necessary critiques of right politicians and legislation. Studying transformative politics recenters leaders of social, environmental, and economic justice who buck status quo via peacebuilding discourse (PD).
Gorsevski, Ellen W., "Barbara Lee’s Peacebuilding Discourse as Transformative Social Justice Politics" (2021). School of Media and Communication Faculty Publications. 56.
Journal of Black Studies
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