Republican members of the House Committee on Education and Labor are demanding a public apology after Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) was called a "racist" during a virtual House committee hearing Thursday.
The slanderous accusation was hurled at Good as he questioned Education Secretary Miguel Cardona about critical race theory and aspects of the New York Times' heavily criticized "1619 Project" being taught in schools. While Good was speaking, someone shouted "racist!" and New Jersey Democratic Rep. Donald Norcross' screen appeared.
Good continued to speak, seemingly unaware of the interruption. He pressed Cardona on whether the Biden administration planned to "nationalize a culture war that started in Virginia," referring to Tuesday's raucous Loudoun County school board meeting where an "unlawful assembly" was declared and one man was arrested after a huge crowd of parents protested the "indoctrination" of their children.
Cardona said states and school districts have the responsibility for deciding what to include in their curriculums, but that "the culturally relevant pedagogy is critically important for students to feel engaged, and part of a school community. And I have confidence in our educators across the country to get it right."
Good later told CNN that he wasn't aware of what happened at the time but learned about it afterward.
Norcross' office has not commented on the matter.
"Virginia is proof that the politicized, factually bankrupt curriculum, which Biden's Department of Education seeks to finance and nationalize around the country is a waste of money and is spreading a dangerous ideology," Good said in a statement after the incident.
"Critical race theory is dividing communities and teaching children that their race, not their character, is what defines who they are and their relationship to others. This ideology has no place in our classrooms. The comments in today's congressional hearing is indicative of the division and hate this close-minded ideology promotes."
He also shared video of the incident on social media, urging his supporters to "stand strong against critical race theory!"
On Thursday evening, Good's Republican colleagues on the Education and Labor Committee sent a letter to Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.), requesting a public apology.
"At today's hearing with Secretary Miguel Cardona, a Member of the Democrat caucus used a smear against a Republican Member, Rep. Bob Good. While we appreciate that you later called the statement 'inappropriate' and 'out of order,' we are extremely concerned that there was no apology made during the hearing for the comment and that it was not withdrawn as is customary when Members engage in unparliamentary personalities and behavior beneath the dignity of this Committee," the letter states.
"Evidence strongly suggests that Rep. Donald Norcross was the Member who slandered Rep. Good, and we expect that Rep. Norcross will abide by the rules of the Committee and House of Representatives, along with his good conscience, and apologize to Rep. Good publicly. It is our hope that you will work with him to ensure that occurs and that we can move forward with our work in a bipartisan and professional manner. We know you meant it when you engaged with Ranking Member [Virginia] Foxx [R-N.C.] about the need for strict adherence to decorum rules during our organizing meeting so that we could continue to disagree, sometimes strongly and passionately, without the need to be disagreeable."