FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib will offer to monitor the skin color of guests and others invited to congressional hearings in an effort to determine whether representatives are being racist.
Tlaib said in order to prevent future racist acts, she and other Democrats would monitor who is invited to committee hearings by the color of their skin, or their race. They would also ask each legislator to fill out a questionnaire to help determine the motive for inviting someone, based on the race of the legislator and the race of the guest.
The guest would be allowed or disallowed, invited or disinvited based on the ratio of the race of the representative and the race of the guest.
Representatives whose skin is colored, or people of color, would not be under as much scrutiny. However, people who are lighter in skin tone, or have less "color" would be monitored more closely because of the contrast in skin color or their race.
Critics say the system of monitoring people at hearings by race might itself be considered racist, since it would be a complicated process to determine whether one is a “person of color” as Tlaib describes herself.
For example, people who are of mixed race might night be considered as much a person of color, and it might be difficult to determine racism because of the many variations of skin color and background.
Tlaib temporarily disrupted the Mark Cohen congressional hearing Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 27, when she said she believed that Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, brought out Lynne Patton, a former event planner for President Donald Trump’s family as proof the president is not racist.
“Just because a person of color is working for them does not mean they are not racist,” Tlaib said as she interrupted the hearing. “And it is insensitive . . . to use a black woman as a prop to prove it otherwise. . . . I’m just saying, as a person of color in this committee, as a person of color, that’s how I felt at that moment and I wanted to express that. I am not calling Mr. Meadows a racist, I am saying that in itself, it is a racist act.”
Meadows responded that it was racist to suggest that he wanted Patton to come to the hearing for that reason.
“My nieces and nephews are people of color. Not many people know that. You know that, Mr. Chairman (Rep. Elijah Cummings R-Maryland). To indicate that a person friend of the Trump family, someone who knows him. It’s racist to suggest that I asked her to come in for that reason. Mr. Chairman, you and I have a personal relationship that is not based on color. To even go down this direction is wrong Mr. Chairman.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings said Meadows was one of his best friends.
“I know that shocks a lot of people,” he said.
“And likewise, Mr. Chairman,” Meadows said.
“You are,” Cummings said.
“And I could see and feel your pain,” Cummings said. “I don’t think Ms. Tlaib intended to cause you that kind of pain.”
“To my colleague Mr. Meadows, I do apologize if that’s what it sounded like,” Tlaib said. “That was not my intension. Thank you for allowing me to clear this up. I was not referring to you as a racist.”
“I thank the gentlewoman for her comments and I thank the chairman for helping to clear it up,” Meadows said.
During the hearing Mark Cohen claimed that Trump was a racist and has made racist statements. As proof, he said that there were few or no black executives in the Trump organization.
Patton is now an official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
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