Medical weed activist banned from Kentucky statehouse for saying white people are ‘scared of negroes’
A pro-marijuana activist has been permanently banned from the Kentucky statehouse after he was overheard saying white people are afraid of “Negroes.”
Dan Seum Jr., the son of a Republican longtime state senator, said the matter was “terrible misunderstanding” and that he had used racially charged language to discuss the historic discrimination against black Americans, reported the Courier-Journal.
Seum, the director of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, was in the lobby of the Capitol Annex on Feb. 17 waiting to meet with a legislator when he was overheard talking about racial history.
The conversation prompted an investigation by legislative staffers, which led to a permanent ban from House Speaker Jeff Hoover.
“Some of the offensive statements attributed to you include commenting that whites were afraid that ‘coloreds’ would have sex with white women, referring to African Americans and Latinos as ‘coloreds,’ and stating that white people were ‘scared of Negroes,'” said David Byerman, director of the Legislative Research Commission, in a letter to Seum explaining the ban.
Byerman said a black legislative employee “left her work station in distress” after hearing Seum’s comments, and he said a second staffer was also offended.
Seum, whose father has served in the General Assembly since 1982, said he disagrees with the statements and was using them to illustrate racial prejudice.
“I was addressing a group of elderly women and quoting our first drug czar, Harry Anslinger, who used racist, bigoted lies as he addressed our Congress to prohibit marijuana,” said Seum, who complained that he was never interviewed during the investigation. “I have been advocating for the African-American community for many years trying to bring light to the disparity of African-American marijuana arrests throughout our state and country.”
Seum said he’d sent certified letters explaining his comments to House leaders and their general counsel, as well as Byerman, but he never heard back from them.