They say the worst thing you can call a racist is racist.
Chaos erupted among GOP House members yesterday when newly-elected Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York called them out for being “racist trash” during a speech about Washington, D.C. statehood.
In his remarks, Jones took aim at Rep. Jody Hice’s ridiculous claim that D.C. has no landfills, as well as Sen. Tom Cotton’s racially-charged contrast between D.C. and a “well-rounded, working class state” like Wyoming.
“I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word ‘white,’” Jones said of Cotton’s argument. Then he accused Republicans of making “racist insinuations that somehow the people of Washington, D.C. are incapable or even unworthy of our democracy.”
“My goodness. With all the racist trash my colleagues have brought to this debate, I can see why my colleagues are worried about a place to put it,” the openly gay lawmaker said. “The truth is there is no good faith argument for disenfranchising 700,000 people, most of whom are people of color.”
D.C. carries three electoral votes in presidential elections but it’s not represented in the Senate and its House delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, is not allowed vote on legislation. Almost 50% of the city’s population is Black.
One of my Republican colleagues objected to #DCStatehood because DC doesn't have its own landfill.
With all the racist trash they've been espousing in this debate, it's no wonder they're worried about where to put it. https://t.co/8cYQlx4Bq1
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) April 22, 2021
I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word “white.” https://t.co/4KK1keCwrs
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) April 23, 2021
Jones’ comments triggered Republicans, particularly Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who jumped up and demanded the remarks be stricken from the congressional record.
In a statement to Forbes, Harris said Jones’ “inappropriate” words were “unbecoming of a Representative and violates the rules of the House,” particularly at a “time of growing discord.”
Jones eventually did agree to withdraw his comments, but not before noting that the GOP’s “desperate objections are about fear.”
“Fear that in D.C. their white supremacist politics will no longer play,” he said. “Fear that soon enough, white supremacist politics won’t work anywhere in America. Fear that if they don’t rig our democracy, they won’t win.”
The House voted along party lines to approve legislation that would make D.C. the 51st state. The the bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to be an uphill climb.
The Biden White House formally declared its support for the legislation on Tuesday, saying it would give D.C. residents “long overdue full representation in Congress.”
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.