State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) is resolutely "unapologetic" for her comments in which she referred to a GOP lawmaker as an "N-word."
1819 News reported on Givan's comments from the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday, where she used a 2017 song by hip-hop artist Jay-Z to refer to State Rep. Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham) as an N-word.
On Thursday, the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) called for Givan to apologize for her comments.
Far from backing down, Givan says she is now calling on ALGOP to apologize for "mischaracterizing" her statements.
"In response to recent calls from the ALGOP for me to apologize for referring to song lyrics from 'The Story of O.J.' by Jay Z during a recent debate over legislation In the Alabama House of Representatives, I am the one calling on the AL GOP to apologize to me for mischaracterizing my statements and asking me to apologize," Givan said. "This is merely another alt-right Republican distraction as they seek to cloture debate and disenfranchise those who do not agree with their toxic and extremist conservative views."
Paschal also issued a statement, saying, "My parents raised me to do as Christ instructed and treat others as you wish to be treated, and it is unfortunate that my colleague from across the aisle was apparently not taught to do the same."
Givan has yet to address Paschal directly since she made the comments.
"As a female black legislator duly elected by the people of Alabama House District 60 and as a legislator committed to being the voice of the people I am honored to represent, I remain unapologetic for exercising my First Amendment right to speak," Givan continued.
"I made reference to a rap song by a black rapper which I have mentioned several times previously, on the House floor without any prior objection, because it was germane to the discussion of the bill. This is because the discussion dealt with our fundamental rights, such as the fact that all people are created equal and endowed with the same rights by their Creator. All deserve equal protection under the law, especially including the sacred right to vote in our democracy."
She concluded: "I remain unapologetic for exercising my right to free speech. Republicans are the ones who owe me and the people of Alabama an apology for trying to silence me and those who strongly disagree with their misguided agenda that hurts people of color, women, and other minority and marginalized groups."
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