While referencing a song by hip-hop artist Jay-Z, State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) indirectly referred to black GOP House member State Rep. Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham) as an "N-word."

During Tuesday's debate on a bill that would codify U.S. Supreme Court definitions of parental rights into Alabama law, House Democrats delivered a series of argumentative remarks toward Paschal, the bill's sponsor.

Paschal is the only black member of the Republican Party in the Alabama Legislature.

Givan aggressively told Paschal a particular song applied to him and his role in the legislature.

The 2017 song is titled "The Story of O.J.," by Jay-Z, in which the artist makes frequent use of the racial epithet.

The song's hook reads as follows:

“Light ni**a, dark ni**a, faux ni**a, real ni**a
Rich ni**a, poor ni**a, house ni**a, field ni**a
Still ni**a, still ni**a”

Multiple times, Givan referenced a bill by State Rep. Jamie Kiel (R-Russelville) to cut down on ballot harvesting in the state.

"[L]ast time I saw you and I told you, before you come back in here and engage with me, I want you to pull up Jay-Z's song, and it's simply called, 'The Story of O.J.,'" Givan said.

She continued, "Because when you came in here, you were one, and when you leave here, you gon' still be one. However you look at it, and however you choose it."

At one point, Paschal attempted to object to House Speaker Pro Tempore Chris Pringle (R-Mobile), who presided over the House in Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter's absence. However, Paschal's attempted objection was spoken over by Givan, who continued to talk for her allotted 10 minutes.

"When Jay Z penned that song, he penned that song for a time such as this," Givan said. "You want me to sing it? Because, you know, I don't have a problem with it. I can stand by everything I say. But I think there's enough people here today that done googled it."

"…Still one. Still one. Still one. Don't matter how you come in here; when you leave here, you still one. When you sit down, you still one. When you get up, you still one. When you go to bed at night, you still one. When you look in the mirror at yourself, you still one. That's the story of O.J. Light-skinned, dark-skinned, you still one. You gon' always be one when you walk up in here, and every day you wake up, don't you ever forget that."

The song received backlash from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) due to content it found antisemitic. The song features lyrics asking, "You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America?"

"[T]he lyric based on the damaging stereotype that Jewish people have a disproportionate hold on core industries in America is not sitting well with the ADL, since such stereotypes have long been used as excuses to incite violence against Jewish communities," an ADL representative told Rolling Stone.

While Ledbetter was not in the chamber during the exchange, an aide told 1819 News they were aware of the situation and conversations had taken place to address the behavior.

Paschal did not respond to a request for comment. House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) also did not respond as of press time.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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