Now I don’t want to hear anyone ever say that I’m let Democrats slide on the same issues that I may hammer Republicans for, because here’s one case that I will quote of an Iowa Democrat.
A Democrat State Senator from Des Moines, Iowa 33rd District, Sen. Jack Hatch has apologized for using a ‘racial slur’ in a conversation about a healthcare bill with State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, fellow Democrat representing Des Moines 66th District.
In what I would assume was suppose to be a private conversation between the two, Sen. Jack Hatch, says he’s sorry for saying that the leaders were treating him and Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad like the Niggers.
Now State Sen. Jack Hatch says there was no malice intended by his comments, but State Rep Ako Abdul-Samad says he was offended, but says lawmakers are under intense pressure as the legislative session wraps up.
This is what’s interesting about this little story when you read the entire article and then research the parties involved. State Sen. Hatch was upset about some revisions to an $8 million healthcare bill that he helped create.
Among the ideas proposed was the creation of a commission that would help small employers, non-profit agencies and local governments to join the state’s employee healthcare plan. This provision was insurance companies and the same commission that was cut by the State House Human Resources Committee that met in a private meeting protested the part of the proposal.
The committee in which Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad is the Vice-Chair passed amendments in the public portion of the of the meeting then cut parts of the bill, including the commission in their private meeting.
Now I can understand a little more in why State Sen. Hatch says he felt blindsided and at that point had the conversation with Rep. Abdul-Samad. What is confusing and interesting about this story is why Hatch would say something like that to someone who was apart of the committee that cut out the commission he was proposing regardless of each parties race. Why not have a conversation with Rep. Abdul-Samad about the reasons behind his committee cut the proposal commission instead of using known racially charged language.
In misguided efforts to speak and have solidarity with your fellow Democrat colleague by saying the leadership was treating you and him like ‘master and slave’ you should have been talking to the one who was ‘in the house’ during that private meeting.
Mr. Hatch, I’m not sure if you may fully understand this statement, but I hope you take this bit of advice to heart, because it is true. “Every brother ain’t a brother because of color.” I’m not suggesting that you should not true your fellow Democrats or not speak candidly with people regardless of their race, but I would this last statement is oh so true.
Senator I honestly believe your political career will be alright and your relationship with your Black constituents will not be harmed. You may have a few who may hold this against you, but when the length of your career is measured in terms of the proposals, bills and laws you’ve advocated that has benefit minorities and the disadvantaged this incident will seem as an millimeter in comparison to the miles advocated.
The two things I want you to take away from this are simple; watch what you say and whom you speak candidly too.
Iowa has got to be one of the most lily-white states in the union. To be the representative of a district with one of the highest concentrations of blacks in the state speaks to your inclusiveness as a politician or the districts lack of concern of who represents them in which I believe that is not the case. You’ve done the right thing in apologizing, now do not dwell on this mistake, just make sure you don’t repeat it.
References & Inspirations
Black Politics on the Web – 03/28/09 “Iowa State Senator Apologizes for Racial Slur”
State of Iowa General Assembly Member – “State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (D – Des Moines, 66th District)”
Iowa State Senator – “Sen. Jack Hatch (D – Des Moines, 33rd District)”