In a bizarre speech on the floor of the Michigan legislature, a Democrat state Senator fought back tears while demanding apologies from unspecified Republican colleagues, while insinuating that they were racists and sexists.
The following is a transcript from the speech, given by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-1st District:
Many of you know that over the past six years serving in the legislature, I’ve always been a strong advocate for my progressive values, and I’ve always worked hard in a serious, thoughtful way on bipartisan solutions. It has not always been easy. When people in my district ask how I’m able to work across the aisle when I disagree so strongly with the majority party on major issues, I always say I do my best to separate out what I’m working on with someone and issues I completely disagree on, and just focus on what we can agree on – what we can work on together. I try my best to separate out the views I find completely offensive from the views where there is alignment to get things done.
It is becoming harder and harder, and maybe even impossible, to make that kind of separation. When statements are made that cut so deeply and show such dismissiveness and disregard for who people are – as women, as Asian Americans, as any other identity – how can we make that kind of separation, make that kind of distinction anymore when it is so clear what your values really are?
Chang did not elaborate on the specific comments to which she was referring, nor did she direct her statement to any legislator in particular. She did not specify what anti-Asian or anti-female comments were made.
If your core values don’t tell you that standing up for the truth instead of promoting lies about the 2020 election or the insurrection at the Capitol, how can we keep this line of separation? I’ve always believed in forgiveness, and working together in a bipartisan way, and in seeing the good in people, including those that I disagree with. But forgiveness requires genuine apologies. It demands acknowledgement of specific wrongdoing, and working together in a bipartisan way has to be based on truth instead of lies.
My daughters deserve to live in a world where women are respected, where truth is uplifted, and where basic decency among those serving the public is an expectation.
As leaders in our state and in our communities, we must act accordingly. We owe it to each other, to our families, and to the residents that we have the honor of serving.
Recently Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R- 16th District) has come under fire for comments he made, calling the mostly peaceful protests at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. a “hoax.” He later clarified, saying that the idea that former president Donald Trump incited an insurrection – for which Trump is currently facing a Senate impeachment trial – was a “hoax.”
Chang’s rant, however, appears to be unsolicited.
There is no indication that Shirkey, or any other Republican member of the Michigan legislature, was seeking her forgiveness.
I have always believed in forgiveness, working together in a bipartisan way, and seeing the good in people, including those I disagree with.
But forgiveness requires genuine apologies. It demands acknowledgement of specific wrongdoing.
Here's what I said today in the Senate… pic.twitter.com/ijcA63zDmW
— Stephanie Chang (@stephanielily) February 10, 2021
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Michigan State Senate” by Steve & Christine. CC BY 2.0.