This is what you call downright insane. The only two Black members of the Arizona Legislature were reprimanded for speaking out against a column written by Maria Syms, a Republican lawmaker. In the column, which talked about “political operatives” who are radicalizing Arizona youth (which means they are just teaching young people about the reality of of our country), Syms felt comfortable enough to quote Kendrick Lamar and use the n-word. The quote has now been removed, but she was called out.
CBS reports, Democratic Rep. Reginald Bolding, who is Black, said he was offended by the language Syns used. Bolding said during a floor speech, “The more I read the more I was disappointed that it appears to be OK to use a racial slur about Black people in the article,’ Bolding continued. ‘Let me be crystal clear: It’s not acceptable to us a racial slur even if that slur is used as a quote.'” Democratic Rep. Geraldine Peten, who is also Black, agreed. However, Bolding was interrupted by state Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), who said it was “improper” for the Democrat to accuse another member of “using a racial slur in an op-ed.” Wow so calling out racism is “improper”?
Speaker J.D. Mesnard ranted that Bolding and Peten were violating “House rules,” saying, “I don’t know why it’s so hard to follow the rules. It doesn’t matter whether you are white or black or brown on whatever the color the color of your skin is, you follow the House rules.” The woman who used the n-word in her article thanked her fellow Republicans for co-signing her foolishness, Syms said. “If anyone would read the article they would know that those words were used in the article to expose the offensive nature of language used by the leader of #RedforEd in the classroom. Every person in the state of Arizona should be offended by these racially offensive words that are being used in our classrooms right now.”
Bolding and Peten are Arizona’s only Black legislators.