Steve Scalise Refused To Vote For 1996 Bill Apologizing For Slavery

Huffington Post

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) voted against a bill that would have apologized for slavery to African-Americans when he was in the Louisiana Legislature, according to a 1996 New Orleans Times-Picayune article first reported on by The Hill.

The representative, who has been a target of civil rights groups after it was revealed last month that he spoke at a 2002 white supremacist conference, was one of two House and Governmental Affairs Committee members who voted down the bill.

"Why are you asking me to apologize for something I didn't do and had no part of?" Scalise asked, according to the paper at the time. "I am not going to apologize for what somebody else did."

The bill passed out of committee on a unanimous vote once it was amended to express "regret" instead.

Scalise's office didn't immediately return a request for comment about the vote.

The 1996 measure was noted on Twitter by Lamar White Jr., the blogger who broke the news that Scalise spoke before the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in 2002.

Scalise has apologized and said he didn't realize what kind of group he was speaking to at the time.

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, a national racial justice organization, was planned a protest for Tuesday outside a Scalise fundraiser on Capitol Hill. And civil rights groups have asked Scalise to meet with them to explain his EURO appearance, though as of Monday, they had not heard back from him.

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