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Apologize or resign! Lawmaker targets white male colleagues with hostile insult, but they fight back

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A Minnesota Democrat representative has been asked to resign her position after she tried to shame her colleagues for being white men.

Melissa Hortman, the House Minority Leader, called her colleagues back to the House floor  prior to a vote to increase penalties to those who block roads during protests.

She was angered that many weren’t in the chamber to hear a pro-Black Lives Matter speech.

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“I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate,” she said on Monday, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

Her Republican counterparts were not happy about her blatantly racial statement.

“I’m a white male. I respect everybody,” Rep. Bob Dettmer said in the chamber after Hortman’s comment. “But I really believe the comments made by the minority leader were really not appropriate. Minority leader, would you apologize to the body?”

“I have no intention of apologizing.” Hortman, who is white, said before adding that she was “really tired of watching women of color in particular being ignored. So I’m not sorry.”

“All I know is that if I would have made a comment like that, it would have made the front page of the newspapers. And minority leader, I do forgive you,” Dettmer countered.

Rep. Greg Davids took it further on Tuesday, calling her comments “racist” and saying she should resign if she doesn’t apologize.

“Her comments were extremely offensive and divisive [and] created a hostile work environment,” he said. “I couldn’t believe she singled out a race and a sex like that.”

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Carmine Sabia

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