The Republican racism scandal continues to grow as it was revealed that the third ranking Republican in the House tried to kill a bill that apologized for slavery.
According to The Hill:
Six years before he spoke to a white supremacist group, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) voted as a state lawmaker against a resolution apologizing for slavery, according to a 1996 article from the Times-Picayune.
Scalise later backed a watered-down version that expressed “regret” for slavery. But the article identifies him as one of two lawmakers on the Louisiana House Governmental Affairs Committee who tried to kill the original resolution, which apologized to African Americans for the state’s role “in the establishment and maintenance of the institution of slavery.”
According to the paper, Scalise argued that there was no reason to apologize for something that had been done more than a century ago, before he was born.
“Why are you asking me to apologize for something I didn’t do and had no part of?” Scalise is quoted as saying in the newspaper. “I am not going to apologize for what somebody else did.”
House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, made a big show out of supporting Scalise when the new Congress came into session, but it is clear that there is even more to the scandal than Scalise speaking to David Duke’s white supremacist group, and twice voting against the MLK day holiday. At a time when House Republicans are poised to pass a bill that will not only undo President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, but could also trigger the deportation of immigrants, the last thing that the Republican Party needed to remind the American people of is the fact that one of their leaders tried to kill a bill that apologized for slavery.
Scalise can’t defend his efforts to kill the entire bill on the basis that he didn’t think he should have to apologize. Killing the bill suggests that Scalise didn’t think that America had anything to apologize for. Republicans can talk about what is in Steve Scalise’s heart and that they think that he is a good man, but as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. The third ranking Republican in the House is acting like a racist.
Boehner and company have turned what was a Steve Scalise scandal into a Republican Party scandal. Scalise’s racism will continue to define and dog Republicans for as long as he is in the House. The Republicans’ Steve Scalise problem isn’t going away. If anything, Rep. Scalise is exposing the politics that the Republican Party has embraced for the entire country to see.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association