An Indiana Democratic state representative made a shocking claim during a floor speech earlier this week when she said a Republican colleague’s 18-month-old toddler was scared of her because she’s black.
Rep. Vanessa Summers was debating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Monday when she speculated that Republican Rep. Jud McMillin’s young son is a fledgling racist.
“I have told Representative McMillin I love his little son, but he’s scared of me because of my color,” Summers speculated. “And that’s horrible.”
“It’s true,” Summers said in response to groans from the legislative body.
“And that’s something we’re going to work on. We’ve talked about it. And we’re going to work on it.”
“I asked him ‘please, introduce your child to some people of color so that he won’t live his life as a prejudiced person.'”
Video of Summers’ cringeworthy remarks is also available.
McMillin responded to the attack, telling the Indianapolis Star that the incident was “unfortunate.”
“You’d like to think that we would have professional discussion on the House floor and certainly be able to avoid having 18-month-olds in the discussion,” McMillin said.
“I can tell you that if he reacted the same way he reacts with anybody brand new, he buries his head in his dad’s shoulder. Whoever it is, it’s what he does. He’s an 18-month-old kid; he’s in a new environment up here in the place like the Statehouse but doesn’t know anybody. I honestly don’t remember anything out of the ordinary.”
After Monday’s session, Summers stood by her comments recalling her first meeting with McMillin’s son.
“He looked at me like I was a monster and turned around and cried,” she told the Star. “And I told him you need to introduce your child to some people that are dark-skinned so he will not be scared.”