Melissa Hortman, the minority leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives, was fed up when she noticed that her colleagues weren’t attending the impassioned speeches being given against a new bill that imposes penalties for protesters blocking roadways. In particular, she noticed that the ones who weren’t attending were white men.
“I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate,” she said.
When Rep. Bob Dettmer asked her to apologize, she refused and doubled down on her comments.
“I have no intention of apologizing,” she said. “I am so tired of watching Rep. Susan Allen give an amazing speech, Rep. Peggy Flanagan give an amazing speech, watching Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn give an amazing speech, Rep. Rena Moran give the most heartfelt, incredible speech I’ve heard on this House floor, as long as I can remember, watching Rep. Ilhan Omar give an amazing speech … and looking around, to see, where are my colleagues?”
“And I went in the retiring room, and I saw where a bunch of my colleagues were. And I’m really tired of watching women of color, in particular, being ignored. So, I’m not sorry.”