February 25, 2022

Maryland state Del. Jazz Lewis (D) called out a Republican colleague on Thursday after she launched an attack on "Black fathers."

During a discussion on the House floor, Del. Susan McComas (R) objected to a bill that would make it more difficult to imprison students for disciplinary issues.

McComas suggested that "Black fathers" were to blame for misbehaving students.

"I've been accused of implicit bias because I said, you know, the Black fathers aren't as prevalent as they were in the '40s and the '50s," she said to groans from other members. "We need to understand that the teachers are dealing now with a society that has changed significantly. There's lower rates of marriage. There's a lot of underage pregnancy. There's a lot of crime. There's a lot of drugs."

"The society has changed so the place where the children go are the schools," the GOP lawmaker continued. "And to deny the teachers the support and the tools to deal with difficult children that are having a lot of problems, not just one problem, two problems but a multitude."

McComas concluded by encouraging other delegates to vote against the measure.

Lewis spoke in response to the attack on Black fathers.

"I ask all of you to be respectful in your language," he said. "Do not speak to the passion and concern of Black fathers when you are not one. I speak on behalf of all the Black fathers in this room."

"Tropes should not be used," he added. "We should keep the conversation to education. I think that is fair for everyone here. But let's not speak about things we do not know and do not experience."

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