Hoyer Statement on Former Secretary Bill Bennett's Remarks

Democratic Whip Calls on Leading Republican to Apologize

For Immediate Release:

September 30, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding remarks made by former Secretary of Education William Bennett on his radio show earlier this week:

“For the author of the ‘Book of Virtues’ and a self-proclaimed advocate of values to voice a statement whose premise reeks of prejudiced stereotypes and putrid politics is shameful and reprehensible.

"It again raises the specter of the not-so-subtle politics of race represented by ‘Willie Horton,’ welfare queens and the conclusion that America would be better off if Strom Thurmond had been successful in 1948.  It reflects an ongoing pattern of racial appeals that repeatedly are claimed to be ‘misconstrued’ or ‘inadvertent.’  It is not unreasonable to conclude that such remarks reflect feelings that, upon reflection, the speaker believes should not have been said out loud.

“Values and virtue must not ever be confused with the prejudice and division inherent in the Secretary’s remarks.  His failure to apologize and withdraw his remarks should confound all who cherish ‘one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.’”

 

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