Today, Senate Democratic Leader Kenny Yuko released the following statement condemning Republican Senator Steve Huffman's remarks during a hearing on SCR 14,
which would declare racism a public health crisis in Ohio. Senator Huffman "asked if 'the colored population' is hit harder by the coronavirus because perhaps they don’t wash their hands as well as other groups."
Leader Yuko's Statement:
"There are times when a colleague says or does something so egregious that those who serve with them must speak out. This is one of those times.
"There is simply no excuse for Senator Steve Huffman's comments yesterday that 'colored populations' don't 'wash their hands as well.'
"This was not simply an error in terminology. It was the public declaration of a sickening stereotype about black Americans.
"Even worse, it was used to explain away why black Ohioans are at greater risk of illness and death from COVID-19.
"If we don't challenge racist perceptions, politicians may end up using them to take votes or introduce bills that harm minority communities.
"Our policies reflect our belief systems - and this one cannot be tolerated."