Do you feel like either side should apologize?

The top Minnesota House Democrat is standing by a remark she made during a debate Monday as Republicans demand an apology.House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman said she hated “to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room,” as she urged colleagues to listen to speeches from women of color on the House floor.

  • I wonder if Democrats have made the connection between their virulent anti-White hatred and their pummeling in the last election.
  • How was Rep. Hortman wrong? Anyone sitting on their duff playing cards while sincere testimony and debate was going on is what is wrong with the system. She was not wrong in the least!!!! Blunt is not disrespectful and the truth hurts, GOP!!!!
  • I am a white male and this pisses me off. I am annoyed with the responses of these privileged representatives whining that they have been called out. Calling a group of white males a group of white males isn't racist. Come on. A break is one thing. Systematicly leaving when minorities are speaking is another.
  • "People should not be criticized for speaking their minds. Political correctness is for people with thin skin. That said, I'm a middle-aged white guy who feels like one of the last ones standing who isn't a protected class. Calling out white guys makes an issue of human decency and respect into a race and gender issue. If she wants the respect she deserves, then she ought to give it, too. Calling out white guys is fighting perceived racism and sexism with racism and sexism."
    — Dan Huse via PIN
  • "They are both disrespectful. That being said, the history of disrespect toward women and minorities by white-male dominated society needs to be singled out when it is happening and if it takes some verbal disrespect to do that, the white males should look in the mirror. If they did't intend the disrespect, they should consider how their actions appear to the women speaking and try to imagine themselves in that position."
    — John Mattson via PIN
  • "I expect my government representatives to be present and engaged in the process of governing. This includes being present in the chamber during discussion of issues, whether they are interested in the information being presented, or not. Whether they think it has value, or they have made up their minds (which would be sad since the whole point of being representative to me is to listen to people who present diverse and opposing sides of an issue) they are paid to represent me, not to sit in a retiring room. Considering the sizable increase in pay just approved, I find it disheartening to learn that they are not earning it, if, indeed, they were choosing to not be present and were not engaged in other legislative work. I can appreciate the frustration voiced with the comment; however, as I often tell my students, 'If the shoe fits, wear it.'"
    Jeri Goodspeed-Gross via PIN
  • "I don't know what Hortman's race is, but race and sex are not the issue. Legislators (Republican and Democrat) are not required to attend all speeches on the House floor. I suspect most of them probably knew the content of Hortman's speech without even being there." — Ron Sorensen via PIN
  • I am offended and disappointed that at a time in our history when race and gender are struggling to establish equality for all, legislators are playing cards rather than serving the taxpayers they represent.
  • "Hortman's outburst was overtly racist, and demeaned her office. If it is OK for her to make racist remarks to bring attention to her issues, what is to stop others? She should be censured and apologize."
    — Tim Denton via PIN
  • "I think she was right to call them out for not attending the speeches of their colleagues, given the historical and social context of the race/gender issues that underlie this situation. I understand that there must be protocols and rules of etiquette, but sometimes there are situations that require these rules to be seconded to the more important circumstances at hand."
    Jamila Hakam via PIN
  • Why aren't the card players named? The story isn't about Rep. Hortman, it's about the guys in the back room playing cards not doing their jobs. Thank goodness that someone calls them out and holds them accountable.
  • My concern is that this is a double standard, every legislator will use the "back room" to get away from repetitive speeches from their political opponents, bringing race and gender into it is nothing more than a classic case of racism. I do hope those on the left realize the damage this type of accusation and name calling is doing to their favored political party.
  • Hortman had every right to respectuflly ask her colleagues to return to their seats and listen to the debate. But for her to add her anti-white-male vitriol does nothing more than alienate the voters the DFL needs to regain control in Minnesota. There is a reason the DFL is losing farmer/labor support in Minnesota and actions like Hortman's put one more nail into the coffin.
  • If you want debates to be shorter, listen, ask questions and don't be obstructionists. Do your jobs! Which is not to play cards and ignore your colleagues.
  • Good for you, Rep. Hortman! It is important to call out disrespect and inequality. It is time for white men to recognize that they are an oppressive power who have caused pain and trauma in this country. It is time for them to sit down and listen. I am disgusted that they were playing cards while Rep Omar was speaking on something so vital to progressive change. Media should be focusing and shaming those white men who were playing cards instead of doing their jobs and listening.
  • Rep Hortman had every right to "tell the truth" about what occurred at the Capitol. White men choosing not to get perspective from 1, Women and more specifically Women of Color. Not listening to the opposition or people with different life experiences than your own? No wonder the entire system from local to national government is in gridlock. How do you build consensus and make good legislation if you are not around to listen.
  • I work two jobs and if I got caught playing cards I'd be fired from both jobs....We the people are your boss and we don't expect you playing cards on our time or dime.....I think it's peppin that should resign for standing up the lazy ass people that are not doing their job and I commend Hortman for bring it out to everyone's attention but then again I guess peppin is okay with wasting hard working people's money.
  • Well done Rep Hortman. Either close the retiring room while in session or put a live video feed in there so the citizens of Minnesota can see their elected officials doing their jobs or not.
  • "After hours and hours of debate repeating the same thing, you need a break from that at times," Davids said.

    Wrong Representative Davids. It is your job to sit thru these debates. If a break is needed then the moderator should call for a break (say once and hour for 5 min) so everyone can take a break. I love how one party is always saying "govt. should be run like a business" but then do things that would not be tolerated at any work place I have been. If there is an all day meeting you go to the meeting.
  • I want to echo the response of many of the previous posts. If both sides are serious about doing what is best for the people of Minnesota, do the work, respect each other and get government back on track, before the democracy we value is taken from us, through lack of effectiveness! Would you allow agencies that are funded through tax payer dollars play cards instead of providing the services they were hired to do? If the answer is NO, then you need to lead by example.
  • It is challenging to recognize privilege when you are receiving the privileges. Thank you for naming gender and race...if they don't see it, someone needs to point it out.
    The outrage comes from fear of losing privilege, keep strong! This is a conversation worth having and one needed in Minnesota, in our state legislature.
    Thank you!
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