Skip to main content

Rep. Hortman responds to criticism, says she's done with 'the bulls---'

Rep. Melissa Hortman has been criticized for saying white male lawmakers weren't listening to their colleagues.

Melissa Hortman, surrounded by a few dozen supporters, made it quite clear Tuesday she's not backing away from comments directed at white male colleagues in the Minnesota House.

You might remember Hortman as the state representative that accused white male lawmakers of not listening to a speech from Rep. Ilhan Omar earlier this month.

Her comments on the House floor drew criticism, with some calling her comments racist.

A group of Republicans also filed an official "Protest and Dissent" over the comments, imploring her to apologize. It was signed by 48 lawmakers. To which Hortman put out a brief response:

Supporters of Hortman held a rally at the Capitol in St. Paul Tuesday (the day lawmakers returned to work after a weeklong holiday break), during which she did not step back from any of her comments. Here are a couple tweets from the rally.

Also speaking in support of Hortman were Reps. Omar, Peggy Flanagan, Rena Moran, and Mary Kunesh-Podein.

The "bulls***" comment also caught the eye of Republican Rep. Drew Christiansen, who tweeted he'd "be fielding angry phone calls from my mother and grandmother" if he'd used that term.

Rep. Kurt Daudt meanwhile, the Republican House Speaker, said Hortman is just trying to "divide" the Legislature, MPR reports.

A response to the Protest and Dissent

Meanwhile, Hortman, Moran, and Rep. Jon Applebaum filed an official response to the Protest and Dissent, arguing the conversation on April 3 – when Hortman referenced the "100 percent white male card game in the retiring room" – was relevant to the discussion at large.

The discussion involved civil rights, and lawmakers of color were speaking about "their experiences as people of color," which offers "a different perspective" on things like protests, the response argues.

It continues: "The gender and racial identity of the speakers was relevant because they shared experiences that white members have not had."

The discussion stemmed from a proposal in a public safety bill that would stiffen penalties for people who protest on a freeway or airport road. That larger bill passed the House – whether the increased penalties make it into a final compromise bill that gets approved isn't known yet.

The state Legislature

MinnPost took a look at the demographics of the Minnesota Legislature (that’s the House and Senate combined) recently. They found a total of 64 female legislators for 2017-18 – that’s out of 201 total legislators, so women make up about 32 percent of state lawmakers.

They also found 16 lawmakers that identify as a racial or ethnic minority, which is the highest figure ever for the state.

Next Up

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension - bca

Man with sword, officers who shot him in North Branch identified

The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the Friday incident.

Jeff Plush

MN-based USA Curling 'reviewing' report that CEO ignored abuse in NWSL

Jeff Plush is under fire for multiple allegations made by U.S. women soccer players.

Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse

7 Minnesota pumpkin patches to visit this fall

Plenty of patches to pick the best pumpkin

slushy snow

Sven Sundgaard responds to AccuWeather's winter forecast

Take anything beyond a couple weeks with a grain of salt, warns meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

1024px-Rage_Against_The_Machine

Rage Against the Machine cancels rest of tour, including MN shows

The cancellations include a 2023 stop at the Target Center.

Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.03.16 AM

Watch: Speeding drivers use Minneapolis bike lanes to overtake

Community members have called for better safety precautions in response.

Jamal Smith

Jamal Smith sentenced to life for Plymouth road rage killing

A guilty verdict was determined by a jury this summer.

Related

State Rep. still not sorry after complaint filed over 'white male' remark

A formal complaint says Rep. Melissa Hortman's comments needlessly invoked race and gender.

Minneapolis will try for $15 minimum wage – right after lawmakers moved to block it

The city is starting the new minimum wage process hours after state lawmakers passed a bill to block them from doing just that.

Another state lawmaker accused of sexual harassment: Rep. Tony Cornish

Accusations against Rep. Tony Cornish have now come out.

Lawmaker calls out white men for not listening, says she's not sorry

DFL House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman has been called racist for her comment.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says she's not done yet, will run for re-election

She's made challenging police policies part of her platform – but been criticized for not enough progress.

President Trump two days after Charlottesville violence: 'Racism is evil'

Trump was criticized for not calling out white nationalists after the Charlottesville violence.

They're back: What Minnesota's lawmakers will try to get done this year

Let's see if lawmakers can agree on stuff they haven't been able to agree on for years.