Statement of House GOP Leader Todd Gilbert on Accusations Made by Del. Bourne

gshipley2020 General Assembly, Press Releases

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement:

“Charges of racism in debate against any member of the Republican Caucus are something I take seriously. Upon hearing them, I immediately reviewed the tape of the meeting. What I heard was a legislative policy discussion, with two sides debating the impact of legislation. No motives were questioned, no ad hominem attacks were leveled.

“Republicans came into 2020 with no illusions as to what was in store. We knew Democrats would push through their radical agenda with speed and a disregard for the rules. That is the prerogative of the majority.

“But Del. Bourne‚Äôs comments turn a dangerous corner. A charge of racism is a serious thing. It shuts down discussion, and instantly stigmatizes the target. It is the end of debate. I invite members and the public to watch the recording of the meeting to judge for themselves.

“Raising concerns about policy is not systemic racism. It is how the legislative process works. If we can no longer have honest and open debate on contentious subjects without resorting to such reckless and inflammatory charges, then this House, and the 400 year experiment in self government it represents, has failed.”