Yvette Clarke still gets carded when she enters the U.S. Capitol.

yvette clarke
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After five terms serving as a House of Representative from Brooklyn, Congresswomen Yvette Clarke still gets carded when she enters the U.S. Capitol. According to her, it’s because she doesn’t look like every other gray-haired white guy on the hill.

The Rep. chatted with The Washington Post about what it’s like to be a black women in congress.

“Politics is truly a male-dominated profession. There is no doubt about that.

I can get on an elevator with some of my colleagues and they still ask me who I work for. Sometimes, just coming into the House complex, I have to show my ID and make sure my [member] pin is shown, because people say I have a more youthful look than my age would indicate. The average man on the Hill is a graying white dude, so I’m not given the benefit of the doubt. I have to make it clear why I’m here.”

To back her point, she gave the example of her colleague Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. She explained,

“The fact is that she is extremely marginalized. She’s not able to vote on the floor of the House, which disenfranchises the community in which we reside as a legislative body. I think it’s extremely disgraceful.”

But Rep. Clarke is determined to united the women of the hill. She says she makes a point of acknowledging all women who work there, from the cafeteria staff to the other representatives.

Rep. Yvette Clarke also serves as the vice-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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