A black Nebraska lawmaker with a history of saying what’s on his mind is taking heat after expressing his frustration with a bill by telling his colleagues, “If I was a white guy, I’d go get my semiautomatic weapon and come down here and mow everybody down.”
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, State Sen. Ernie Chambers (I) was incensed by the tenor of the discussion on the Senate floor regarding a measure to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Chambers explained that he had watched much of the discussion from his downstairs office, which he found frustrating, saying, “If I was up here I’d probably pick these books up and start throwing them around.If I was a white guy, I’d go get my semiautomatic weapon and come down here and mow everybody down.”
On Thursday, Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Galen Hadley criticized Chambers to applause from fellow lawmakers, saying, “I find those words appalling used in any context,” linking them to mass shootings before adding, “”It’s time to stop the killing and start the healing . We can start by everyone using his or her words carefully.”
The colorful Chambers — who has held office since 1971 — said that his words weren’t meant to be taken literally, and that his colleagues were well aware of that.
“I shall continue to express myself in the way I see fit, and if people’s ears are too tender, they’re free to walk out like they often do when I’m speaking,” Chambers stated.
Chambers riled fellow lawmakers previously when he compared police who harass black citizens to ISIS and for telling his colleagues who were debating pulling funding for Planned Parenthood, to ““Get your nose out of women’s crotches and take care of the living women, the living child. Expand Medicaid. Make sure people have access to healthcare. I am thankful for places like Planned Parenthood that take care of those in need. Quit pretending to care about women’s health when you don’t do anything useful.”