John Wahl, the Chairman on the Alabama Republican Party, still thinks State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) should apologize for her “premeditated” comments against State Rep. Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham).
Wahl said this is worse than a legislator making a simple mistake. It’s an example of the kind of personal attacks that shouldn’t happen in our politics.
“[I]t was premeditated,” he said. “She has the lyrics of the song pulled up on her phone, repeatedly said ‘you are one, when you wake up you are one, when you leave this chamber you are one, and don’t ever forget it.’ That’s very pointed, very negative, and very planned out.”
During a debate on the House floor, Givan quoted a Jay-Z song that talks about a racial slur in order to attack the only Black member of the Republican party in the Alabama legislature.
During a recent appearance on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Wahl, once again condemned her comments.
“She does not think she needs to give an apology, in fact she says she deserves an apology, and I don’t quite understand why because it is clear from her reference … it was very clear what she was attempting to do … racially slur and insult a Black Republican because they have different political views,” he said. “And that’s incredibly disappointing and insulting on every level.”
For his part, Paschal said he won’t be intimidated by these kinds of attacks.
“I will never be bullied or insulted into apologizing for what I am,” Paschal said, “a God-fearing conservative and military veteran who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the right of every person to live their lives free from government overreach.”
Wahl believes Givan crossed a line when she made her comments, especially during a debate on the House floor.
“You know it’s sad when we get to a point when you lack basic human respect and decorum for someone,” he said. “I don’t know anyone who I agree with on every issue, especially politically, but I think that’s why it’s so important that we treat people with respect and we have this human dignity. And there’s lines you just don’t go across. You can argue debate, but you don’t personally attack someone, especially on a racial level.”
While the Alabama Republican Party has officially called for her to apologize, Wahl said he will leave it up to the leadership in the Legislature to decide if she should face censure or another kind of punishment.
“I’m very quick to respect House leadership on this,” he said. “They know way more than we do. They know the background, they know the potential motives, what options they have for punishment. I heard that the Speaker has already taken some steps and I trust that. That’s an internal process.
“They have more information than I do, and I would trust them to handle this they way they think it needs to be handled.”
Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee
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