Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Summers Should Apologize to McMillin, Family Over Floor Debate Remarks

Rep. Vanessa Summers
Vanessa Summers was wrong.

During an Indiana House floor debate over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Monday, Summers, a Democrat, claimed Republican Jud McMillin's 18-month-old son is afraid of her because she is black.

Now, I have not walked a mile in Rep. Summers' shoes.  I am not black, but I've had plenty of young children be scared of me.

Rep. Jud McMillin
While Summers may think that this child was afraid of her because of her skin color, it more than likely didn't
have as much to do with anything other than he saw her as a stranger.  I see the kids of my friends who I have met before hiding under their parent's legs at the age of even three or four when they meet me. I've never thought to attribute it to anything else other than adults are scary people to a child...especially one that's a year and a half old.

I don't know Rep. Summers at all, but I know good people that know her.  Rep. Jeb Bardon, for example, retired from the Indiana House rather than face her in a Primary Election because of his respect for her as a friend and legislator.  Knowing how much he enjoyed serving his constituents, I can't imagine him stepping aside for just anyone.

I'm really not sure how this story ends up.  I just I hope that Representative Summers has found a moment to find Representative McMillin and apologize to him, to his family and to his little boy.  


Eric Olson said...

As always well stated!

Anonymous said...

Rep. Summers should do the right thing and apologize. To claim an 18-month old child was race sensitive is ridiculous. I have seen white children do the same to white strangers. Rep. Summers has a history of being a bit too race-trigger reactionary. Compassion and common sense would go a long way when dealing with children.

Anonymous said...

You weren't there. You don't know all the details. Maybe, just maybe Ms Summers is/was right

Anonymous said...

Maybe just maybe the child is afraid of Democrats.

Anonymous said...

She didn't call anyone a racist. I grew up with Jud McMillin, and I can tell you that the area we live in is almost 100% white and racism is alive and well there. That doesn't mean that Jud is a racist or that his child is. She simply pointed out that the child reacted in fear to her because he hadn't seen people of color, which is almost certain to be true in the area Jud lives in. Her point was that people react in fear to people that are different, kind of like the people who were pushing for SB101.