During a tense floor debate in the Illinois Legislature over a proposed education reform bill, Democratic state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia argued “all” the minority lawmakers were Democrats. When Republicans strongly objected, she mockingly referred to a Republican colleague as only “half” a black person.
“Listen to me, minorities! I’m over here, because we’re all over on this side, right? What you’ll also find—“ LaVia began before being interrupted by Republicans.
“Wait, we have a half! We have a half,” she added, referring to state Rep. John Anthony, a black Republican.
That’s when state Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R) rose and scolded the Democrat for using such divisive and insulting language.
“Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe what the distinguished lady from Aurora just did,” he said. “When I represent 108,000, it’s a very diverse group. It’s not one monolith, not one particular demographic or background — it’s 108,000 people of all different backgrounds! So I don’t think that’s very fair, representative, what you did. That’s terrible!”
LaVia then “apologized” and claimed lawmakers are there “for children, not an association, not a hidden agenda.”
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart, you know I’m not that type of person,” she added.
Watch the exchange here: