A series of condescending and cringe-inducing tweets sent out by Joe Biden’s Acting Ambassador for Afghanistan has spurred a reaction of shock, disgust and ridicule among critics.
Karen Decker is the “charge d’affaires” for the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan, which is based in Doha, Qatar. As the top-ranked U.S. diplomat assigned to Afghanistan, she has recently seen fit to lecture the Taliban-controlled Afghan people about Black History Month.
On Feb. 12, Decker flippantly described Abraham Lincoln—who is largely considered America’s greatest president—as someone who “did some stuff,” before gushing about the NAACP, “grassroots activism” and “black voices.”
“Abe Lincoln born today in 1809,” she tweeted. “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?” Decker tweeted.
The diplomat continued her narrow focus on black achievements on Feb. 13, tweeting: “Super Bowl LVII. Two elite quarterbacks who happen to be Black made history in epic showdown. Congrats to Chiefs for thrilling victory! Afghans – what’s the most exciting sports match you remember?”
In perhaps the most outrageous tweet in the series, Decker sought to familiarize Afghan women and girls with an alleged “movement” she referred to as “Black Girl Magic.”
“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 on February 15, tagging black pop star Lizzo and actress Regina King.
“Karen Decker might have sent the stupidest tweet of 2023, and it’s only mid-February,” quipped Outkick’s David Hookstead. “Beyonce and Lizzo would be murdered in Afghanistan for simply existing and dressing as they do, but that must have slipped Decker’s mind,” Hookstead noted.
Decker continued her Black History Month theme in a Feb 18 tweet, asking “Who is Afghanistan’s MLK? What Afghan person, driven by their faith, and their desire for peace can lead the Afghan people to the mountaintop?”
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Biden’s ambassador to Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/clVvidaoF6
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) February 16, 2023
Decker has deleted those four tweets, although numerous other tweets focused on Black History Month remain on her Twitter timeline.
According to her U.S. Embassy bio, Decker previously served as the Director for Afghanistan Operations for the Afghan Relocation Effort (CARE) from September 2021-August 2022, and as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from September 2018 to September 2020.
The botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan prompted a mass exodus of Americans, U.S. allies, and desperate Afghan refugees trying to escape from the country, Fox News noted.
Women, since the U.S. withdrawal, have faced an uphill battle to maintain their basic human rights while being treated as second-class citizens, despite the Taliban initially assuring the world otherwise. The Taliban have banned women and girls from attending universities, barring them from receiving secondary education among various other restrictions.
Foreign minsters from the U.S. and allies such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, among others, condemned the Taliban for curtailing basic freedoms in a joint statement in December.
“The Taliban have issued no fewer than 16 decrees and edicts that, among other things, constrain women’s mobility, remove women from places of work, require head-to-toe coverings for women, ban women from using public spaces such as parks and gyms and leave widows and women-headed households in dire circumstances by the requirement of male guardianship,” the statement read.
Decker’s tweets were blasted for being insensitive to the Afghan people as they endure this oppression under Taliban rule.
“And they said the adults were back in charge,” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz ( R-Texas).
“What an embarrassment,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote. “And a perfect example of the Biden Administration prioritizing wokeness over competence.”
“This is unfortunately not a parody account,” Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) said.
“Beyond parody. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad,” said Christina Pushaw, an aide to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Communications director for Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga. tweeted: “This is so cringe we’re going to have to apologize to the Taliban.”
Asked about Decker’s remarks during a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said her comments had not been cleared with the State Department.
“The messaging in this context is rather inappropriate and ineffective,” Price said.
Decker apologized for the controversy in a tweet Thursday afternoon, acknowledging that she may not have “listened enough” to other peoples’ “lived experience.”
“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.”
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