The Indiana GOP continues pattern of profound moral corruption
By Adam Dickey, District Chair
This past Thursday our State House descended into a scene that could have easily been lifted from the history books. White legislators booing and shouting down black legislators who rose to speak in opposition to a bill they saw as discriminatory. The majority was unmistakably trying to silence them into submission. The outrage that ensued spread outside the chamber and threaten physical violence between members.
There is no doubt much could be said about the members who booed and shouted down their colleagues. Their actions speak volumes to who they are and what they believe, and it was a miscarriage of their duty as representatives to ignore and summarily dismiss the perspective of others. Admonishment of these individuals is wholly necessary and appropriate as is the need to better educate the members of the General Assembly itself to the realities and history of racism and discrimination.
What is missing in the legislature and from the Republican leadership, is the voice of the individual who speaks to what is right and just. By all accounts, no member of the all-white majority rose to quell the disrespect. The speaker himself failed to control his members and the chamber. This scene and the complicit nature of those that should have stood against such conduct, underlines the moral corruption infecting the General Assembly.
This disease is evident not just in this moment of tension but pervades throughout the session’s work. Under Republican supermajority status, the legislature has become a lawless, unruly rabble that elevates itself above its citizens, usurps the ability of local communities to govern their own affairs, punishes opponents with impunity, and endangers our entire society for its own selfish interests. Nightly reports of the conduct of these legislative members reads more of a drunken college party than a responsible governing body.
For all of us that look at this in utter disappointment and disgust, we must resolve to do what is right. We must hold the system itself accountable for enabling and permitting this behavior. We must ensure that we do not elevate the voice of the infected by creating a stage for them to spew their bias and bigotry. We must shine light into the shadows where they conduct their dealings. We must resolve to cure the cancer before it consumes what remains of the body.
Reform has never been so essential in Indiana or with its legislature. What is required are individuals willing to do right regardless of the challenge or the cost.