Neas Says Stereotyping Reflects and Encourages Racial Prejudice and Discrimination
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas called on Rep. Barbara Cubin to apologize for divisive remarks made during a debate on legislation to protect gun makers and sellers from some lawsuits.
The April 9 Washington Post reports the following description of Cubin’s actions:
Yesterday’s debate suddenly veered from guns to race when Cubin criticized a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people in drug treatment. After noting that her sons, ages 25 and 30, “are blond-haired and blue-eyed,” she said: “One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean that if you go into a black community you can’t sell any guns to any black person?”
Remarkably, Cubin failed to apologize when some lawmakers asked that she do so, and to date Republican leaders have not repudiated her comments or called for an apology. In fact, her colleagues defeated efforts to have her remarks declared out of order. This stands in marked contrast to the actions taken by Democratic Party leaders when Rep. Jim Moran recently made comments that many interpreted as anti-Semitic; Moran apologized, was repudiated by Democratic leaders, and lost a House leadership position.
“Rep. Cubin’s divisive stereotyping both reflects and encourages the racial prejudice and discrimination that still plague our country,” said Neas. “It is appalling that Republican congressional leaders encouraged members to oppose efforts to rule her comments out of order rather than take a stand to repudiate them. Republican Party leaders clearly have a long way to go if they are going to convince Americans that their rhetoric about inclusion and equal opportunity is more than just talk.”