December 12, 2002
Diane Witiak
John Irvine
(202) 639-6419

Statement of AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage on Racist & Divisive Comments by Senator Lott

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)-AFGE, which proudly represents over 600,000 federal and D.C. workers from various races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, ages and persons with disability, finds the comments by Senator Trent Lott outrageously racist and divisive.

Senator Lott also owes African-American federal and D.C. workers an apology. As a Congressional leader, Senator Lott plays an incredibly powerful role in monitoring and funding federal agencies and the federal work force-one of the most diverse work forces in the U.S.

With his comments, Senator Lott has sent a strong message to African-American federal and D.C. workers that they are not welcomed or appreciated in the greatest democracy in the world.

I do not accept the Senator's apology that this was a mistake of the mind, not of the heart. The mistake was what has been in his heart all along. This is not the first time his mouth or his actions have reflected what is truly in his heart. He should not be in any leadership position and the Republican Party should recognize this.

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