ST. PAUL, Minn. - Knowing what she knows now, would Minnesota Representative Melissa Hortman take back her "white male" comment? Not a chance.
On Monday evening, the DFL House Minority Leader from Brooklyn Park voiced her frustration over, according to her, women in the House being ignored.
"I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate,” she said. "I'm really tired of watching women of color, in particular, being ignored."
Hortman went on to praise fellow female lawmakers and their speeches during the debate over a bill that would increase penalties for protesters who block traffic or disrupt transit or airport travel.
“I’m a white male. I respect everybody,” said Rep. Bob Dettmer, a Republican from Forest Lake. “I really believe the comments made by the minority leader were really not appropriate."
When Hortman said she was not going to apologize, Dettmer said, "All I know is that if I would have made a comment like that, it would have made the front page of the newspapers. And minority leader, I do forgive you.”
"I wasn't sorry," Hortman told KARE 11's Jana Shortal on Thursday. "I was describing a group of people not in a derogatory way and I wasn't saying all people in that category were doing something, I was just stating a fact."
She continued, "I also described women of color who were speaking, that was fine to describe women of color as women of color but it wasn't fine to describe people playing cards as white men? I don't know why one would be fine and the other would be offensive."
"I think the hard thing about what I said is it created more distance rather than closing the distance," Rep. Hortman added. "I just wanted to get people to come in and listen to the amazing women in our caucus."