When Justin Hicks, an African-American GOP state member from Missouri, identified as American in the midst of a contentious discussion on the state’s House floor at the end of March, members applauded him.
Justin Hicks Puts Democrats in Their Place
When Democratic state Representative Marlene Terry criticized Hicks for backing House Bill 6, which would ban the use of state monies for DEI-related efforts, the conversation over DEI initiatives became tense.
Terry began by asking Hick about his method of identifying. Terry asked Hicks what they identify as in terms of ethnicity.
Hicks answered that he identifies himself as American. His statement was received with cheers and clapping.
Terry said that it took them 20 years to get where they are and it was a struggle. Terry then queried if that was equal.
'I identify as an American': Black Republican lawmaker receives applause for calling out woke 'race-baiting' Democratic colleague during DEI debate https://t.co/LILl0yliXG
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) April 15, 2023
Terry, according to Hicks, received the same opportunities as her coworkers.
Hicks, according to Terry, was “delusional.” She then bemoaned the failure of her suggested legislation, especially the part pertaining to education.
The Democratic legislator then questioned Hicks about his campaign strategy for winning office.
'I identify as an American': Black Republican lawmaker receives applause for calling out woke 'race-baiting' Democratic colleague during DEI debate https://t.co/gkdWlLsJS2
"This is not an issue of race any more. And I think they look for words to divide us instead of unite us."
— Chris Noblett (@ChrisNoblett) April 15, 2023
Hicks said he had to rely on his own unique abilities and essentially advance the values that he holds dear—freedom and fairness for all—which, according to Hicks, America upholds. And that’s how he won the election for the current post. He did not engage in any ethnicity-baiting activities, as it appears she’s encouraging here, or was appointed to his post due to the shade of his skin.
Terry Defends Himself Against
Terry said he was from a rich upbringing, but Hicks refuted this. He said that his mother, who had less money than her husband, took care of him and both of his brothers solely when his dad died when he was just a little child. He certainly did not come from privilege.