WATCH: Rep. Mike Winkler (D-Vernon) goes on the attack late in the day at the March 22 Planning and Development Public Hearing, first labeling the Town of Greenwich as not welcoming enough to Black Americans, then saying that other minorities – specifically Asian Americans – are not discriminated against.
Senator Tony Hwang shares the following statement:
Today I encountered an unfathomable amount of direct blatant, ignorant racial bias as I completed my duties as a sworn public servant for the state of Connecticut.
Racial bias exists amongst all of us. For any person, including a State Representative, to say that there is no racism against Asian Americans is EXACTLY the problem we have in our society.
Discrimination, racism and bias have no place in our country, state or legislature.
I am appalled that I had to learn of this Representative’s declarations that one minority has suffered more than others multiple times this evening. How could the Chair of the Planning and Development Committee allow this man to carry on a first or a second time? This all happened after he had admonished a municipal housing official, saying only the Black American statistic in his minority resident calculations mattered. I found this beyond disturbing. When I addressed the issue when I returned to the public hearing, Representative Winkler instead of apologizing, doubled down and reiterated his ignorant and biased statement again.
These ignorant, inflammatory and derogatory comments must be called out and refuted immediately and loudly, as I did to him tonight.
There can be no tolerance for bias, prejudice or hateful words against any person regardless of race, gender, religion, orientation, disability or ability, or any difference in political thought. These differences among us are not to be ranked as “worse” or “better” but each must be given it’s due respect.
Today was an incredibly dark day for the Connecticut General Assembly and the Planning and Development Committee. I never thought I would have needed to forcefully speak out against bias or racism at a public meeting with a legislative colleague. I am absolutely stunned at the sharp tongued, close minded and hurtful speech I bore witness to today and will be for some time to come.