Remarks during Kansas budget debate sparks controversy
In a speech on the floor of the Kansas House of Representative Friday evening, Representative Ford Carr said he would not vote for the proposed budget.
"I won't sacrifice my integrity, my character, or those things that have adverse effects on my people, or anything that someone may able to be able to offer me," Carr said.
Speaker Pro-Tem Blake Carpenter said he thought this remark was referring to another African-American state lawmaker, Marvin Robinson of Kansas City, a Democrat who supported the Republican budget after the addition of the funding for the Quindaro Ruins.
Carpenter also gaveled down Carr after making remarks in the speech he deemed out of line.
“There were typically two sets of slaves. You had, what was considered the field Negro, and the house Negro," Carr said. "Most of the time, you became a house Negro, because of things that you may have done, exchanges, trades that you may have made.”
As Speaker Pro-Tem Carpenter says it was his duty to enforce the house rules.
"When the representative from Wichita started talking about the motives or impugning the motives thereof of the representative Robinson from Kansas City, that is against the house rules," Carpenter said.
However, Carr says he was abiding by the rules of the house by not specifically identifying who he was talking about.
Carr believes the speaker Pro-Tem was using the opportunity to silence him.
"I think that he was uncomfortable with the subject matter," Carr said. "And if he's uncomfortable with the subject matter, that's not an issue that I have. That's an issue that he has."
Carr added he voted against the budget to protect his largely African-American constituency.
Representative Robinson is at odds with his fellow Democrats for siding with Republicans on several key votes this year.