America’s top diplomat in Afghanistan deleted several tweets Thursday after being ridiculed for pondering whether Afghans need “black girl magic.”
Karen Decker, the Biden administration’s Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan, tweeted Tuesday asking if Afghans are familiar with #BlackGirlMagic and whether or not Afghan girls need a similar movement. She walked back the statement Thursday after the State Department distanced itself from her remarks.
“Are Afghans familiar with #BlackGirlMagic and the movement it inspired? Do Afghan girls need a similar movement? What about Afghan Women? Teach me, ready to learn. #BlackHistoryMonth,” Decker tweeted. She tagged Lizzo, Regina King and Beyonce at the end of her post. (RELATED: ‘Morally Wrong’: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai Blasts Biden For Afghan Debacle)
The tweet was just one of several black history month-related posts Decker deleted after being mocked online. Days earlier, she tweeted “Abe Lincoln born today in 1809. He did some stuff. It’s also NAACP day, home of grassroots activism, inclusive communities and making sure Black voices are heard. What does that look like for Afghans struggling to be heard?.”
In another post, she asked Afghans what the most exciting sporting event was they can remember after noting that both starting quarterbacks in this year’s Super Bowl were black.
“Sometimes our best intentions go awry because we haven’t listened enough or don’t truly understand others’ lived experience,” Decker tweeted Thursday. “My efforts to celebrate courageous African Americans this month fall in that category. I apologize to any and all who I may have offended or hurt.”
Sometimes our best intentions go awry because we haven’t listened enough or don’t truly understand others’ lived experience. My efforts to celebrate courageous African Americans this month fall in that category. I apologize to any and all who I may have offended or hurt.
— Chargé d’Affaires Karen Decker (@USAmbKabul) February 16, 2023
Decker still has at least nine tweets visible on her timeline in which she speaks about black history month without making any mention of Afghanistan. She has several more resembling the #BlackGirlMagic tweet, in which she attempts to relate historical black American figures or black American culture to Afghanistan.
State Department Spokesman Ned Price stopped short of condemning the tweets, but did call them “inappropriate”: “I will say that there’s sentiments in her tweet thread that one can appreciate,” Price said. “I think the messaging in this context is rather inappropriate and ineffective, and it is not messaging that we would issue from here.”