Democratic Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips apologized Thursday for a display of “privilege” during the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
Phillips joined a number of his colleagues in the House of Representatives as they took turns sharing their personal feelings and experiences from that day — but rather than talk about his own story, Phillips turned his statement into an apology to his colleagues of color. (RELATED: ‘Thank Allah I Wasn’t There’: Tlaib Breaks Down Crying On House Floor Over Capitol Riot)
Phillips began by saying that his intent was not to seek sympathy from his colleagues but rather to “make a public apology.”
“Recognizing that we were sitting ducks in this room as the chamber was about to be breached, I screamed to my colleagues to follow me, to follow me across the aisle to the Republican side of the chamber so that we could blend in,” Phillips said that, believing that the rioters were Trump supporters, he thought anyone who was mistaken for a Republican might be spared.
“Within moments I recognized that blending in was not an option available to my colleagues of color,” Phillips continued. “So I’m here tonight to say to my brothers and sisters in Congress, and all around our country, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. For I had never understood, really understood, what privilege really means. It took a violent mob of insurrectionists and a lightning bolt moment in this very room.”
Phillips concluded by asking his colleagues — and all Americans — to “not allow that day to change you for the worse.”
“Rather, please find something in it to improve yourself, to improve our country, and to improve our world. I surely did, and I hope you’ll join me,” he said.