A newly surfaced article could fan the flames against embattled Rep. Steve Scalise.
Many years before Scalise took over the role of House majority whip, the Louisiana Republican rejected a resolution to formally apologize for slavery to African-Americans, The Hill reported on Tuesday, citing a 1996 article from the New Orleans’ Times-Picayune. “Why are you asking me to apologize for something I didn’t do and had no part of?” Scalise said at the time, according to the paper. “I am not going to apologize for what somebody else did.” He later supported language in a bill that expressed “regret” for slavery. The newspaper quoted Scalise – then working in the Louisiana Legislature – for the April 11, 1996 issue of the paper.
Calls by msnbc to Scalise’s office were not immediately returned.
Scalise has been under fire in recent weeks after admitting to making a 2002 appearance at former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) event, calling it ”a mistake I regret.” Last week, he addressed the controversial appearance in a press conference on Capitol Hill, stating he rejects “bigotry of all kinds.”
House Speaker John Boeher and a chorus of Republicans issued their public support for the lawmaker and his leadership position. But his comments aren’t being swept under the rug by the left. “Members of the Republican establishment need to know this story is not over for us when the #3 leadership position in the House of Representatives is held by a man who has been known to use racial hatred for political gain,” said Arisha Hatch, ColorOfChange.org Managing Director of campaigns in a press release.
ColorOfChange joined the coalition of progressive groups, including Million Hoodies Movement for Justice and MoveOn.org, demonstrating outside of an event Tuesday afternoon for Scalise donors in Washington.