RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus today adamantly condemned the remarks made by Del. Freitas on Friday on the House Floor.
The speech went well beyond the traditional bounds of a conversation on gun violence prevention. The words sparked anger, as they were marked by the most divisive racial undertones heard on the floor in years.
“The speech used language laced with racial dog whistles and statements that painted inner cities and minority communities and the issues they face as the major reason for gun violence,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby. “Citing, abortion, welfare, family structure, and a litany of other stereotypes as the main cause for gun deaths, the sentiments invoked more than just guns. As the chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, I stand to put every member of this body on notice that our heritage is not a political football.”
“The remarks brought up a very painful past to make a cheap political point. The speech was disgusting and poisons what could and should be a thoughtful policy debate,” lamented Delegate Delores McQuinn.
“Please understand the language we use can open up wounds that many of us have experienced,” stated Delegate Luke Torian.
We call on all legislators to seek the perspectives of each other as we work together to find concrete solutions to the gun violence epidemic we face.