On Tuesday, Dayton-area state Senator Stephen Huffman used a racist and disparaging term to describe African Americans. He then went on to suggest that African Americans “do not wash their hands as well as other groups.” Montgomery County Democratic Party (MCDP) denounces this blatant act of racism and calls on Sen. Huffman to immediately resign.
“To casually, and publicly, use segregationist language then imply that African Americans are somehow inherently less hygienic, or not intelligent enough to take precautions against COVID-19 is reprehensible,” said Mark E. Owens, MCDP Chairman. “We cannot tolerate racism in our legislature, and I am calling on everyone who is outraged to contact Senator Stephen Huffman to demand his resignation.”
In the same breath, Sen. Huffman stated, “I understand African Americans have a higher incidence of chronic conditions and that makes them more susceptible to death from covid.” As a physician, Sen. Huffman knows that the best way to prevent chronic conditions is through wellness checks and regular medical care, yet he has done nothing as a legislator to address the racial inequality of healthcare access in Ohio.
As protests against systemic racism and police brutality continue across our nation, the Ohio Democratic Party has passed a resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis. In addition, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) is urging Ohio’s legislative branch to declare racism a public health crisis. MCDP stands with OLBC and is calling on citizens to hold our elected officials accountable for their words and actions. We also believe all elected officials should be required to take racial equity and implicit bias training.
Montgomery County Democratic Party will continue fighting against racism in all forms including injustice, access, and privilege. To learn more about how you can help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.