Indiana Young Democrats denounce actions by Republican House Caucus

February 18th, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Yesterday was quite the day in Indianapolis. The actions of some members of Indiana’s House Republican Caucus displayed disrespect and racism towards Statehouse colleagues. That disrespect extends to Hoosiers across the state who elected their representatives to speak on their behalf. Some members of the House Republican Caucus attempted to mute the voices of those voters today.

“Firstly, the Indiana Senate passed legislation handing more money to charter schools, stripping public schools of their resources and funding. Additionally, the Senate Education and Career Development Committee this year failed to consider legislation that would have prevented charter schools from using Hoosier tax dollars if they discriminated against students. Last, but certainly not least, the Indiana House considered and passed racist legislation meant to further segregate our public schools. Thank you to Representatives Porter, Summers, Smith, and Jackson for speaking out and standing up to this legislation,” said Indiana Young Democrats (IYD) President, Arielle Brandy.

Policies can be racist and House Bill (HB) 1367 is a racist bill. Despite a bipartisan rebuke of HB 1367, the bill passed and is now headed to the Senate. The unwillingness of certain members of the House Republican Caucus to listen when members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus attempted to share their experiences of racism was also racist. Representatives Eberhart and Lucas, and some of their colleagues, intentionally avoided listening to their peers in a racist and unprofessional manner. We hope they will learn and improve from this experience. As acknowledged by Speaker Huston, the discourse in Indianapolis this legislative session has clearly fallen short of the Honorable titles bestowed upon members. That must change if we want to tackle the numerous problems facing our state today. If we won’t listen to each other, we cannot attempt to tackle these issues in earnest. 

IYD President Arielle Brandy continued: “It’s my duty as President of this organization and a member of IYD’s Black Caucus to clearly state the outcomes that must follow today’s displays of racism. The Republican Party has done nothing to show that they’re engaging, supporting, or empowering Black Hoosiers.

  1. The Indiana Young Democrats urge the Indiana Senate to reject the racist legislation that is HB1367.
  2. The behavior today on the House floor from some Republican Caucus members was unacceptable and we demand a formal apology from them to Indiana’s Black community and IBLC members.
  3. We would also like to reiterate Rep. Robin Shackleford’s call from last May for the Indiana House of Representatives to undergo racial bias training before sine die. This training should also take place in the Indiana Senate.” 

Indiana’s legislators must possess the decorum and civility that comes with being a public servant. Indiana’s residents deserve to live in a state that works on behalf of all Hoosiers. The Indiana Young Democrats will continue to speak out against injustices.”