(CNN)Stacey Plaskett, a Black Democratic delegate, on Wednesday forcefully rebuked her White Republican colleague in the House of Representatives for accusing the Black Lives Matter movement of being a “group that doesn’t like the old-fashioned family,” a statement she derided as racist.
In speaking against President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan, Wisconsin GOP Rep. Glenn Grothman argued on the House floor Wednesday that the expansion to earned income tax credit for single workers would penalize married individuals.
“I bring it up, because I know the strength that Black Lives Matter had in this last election. I know it’s a group that doesn’t like the old-fashioned family,” said Grothman, who is White. “I’m disturbed that we have another program here in which we’re increasing the marriage penalty.”
Plaskett, a non-voting delegate who represents the Virgin Islands, who rose to speak in favor of Biden’s Covid bill, instead spoke out strongly against Grothman’s accusations.
“How dare you, how dare you say that Black Lives Matter, Black people, do not understand old-fashioned families?” Plaskett said. “Despite some of the issues, some of the things that you have put forward that I’ve heard out of your mouth in the Oversight Committee, in your own district, we have been able to keep our families alive for over 400 years, and the assault on our families to not have Black lives or not even have Black families.”
“How dare you say that we are not interested in families in the Black community? That is outrageous, that should be stricken down, she added.
She argued that Biden’s stimulus package would provide relief to “not only Black lives, Black Americans, but all Americans.”
Plaskett told CNN’s Erin Burnett later Wednesday that “if you make racist statements and continue to say them, then that’s probably what you are as well.”
“As an African American, as a Caribbean person, as a person of African descent, I cannot continue to let individuals like Mr. Grothman’s words stay on the record without being rebuked, without being rebuffed,” she said.
She argued that some members of the Republican Party are “almost too comfortable making these kinds of statements, and we’ve got to call them when we have to.”
House Democrats on Wednesday passed Biden’s coronavirus relief package on a party line vote, paving the way for Biden to sign his top legislative priority into law Friday.
Grothman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an interview after the House floor vote that Plaskett misrepresented his comments.
“Obviously I didn’t say those things, so she’s making stuff up. I am referring to the Black Lives Matter organization and its Marxist founders,” Grothman told the newspaper.
According to the Journal Sentinel, he cited a statement from the Black Lives Matter organization’s website that has been removed but read: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
“I put the two together,” Grothman told the paper when asked why he mentioned Black Lives Matter when referring to a marriage penalty. “We have the power of Black Lives Matter, which is opposed to the nuclear family, and another program, or expansion of a current program, which penalizes you for getting married. I don’t think we point this stuff out enough.”