Shackleford calls for change after Lucas posts racist image

IBLC, News & Media, Member Featured

INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), today sent a letter to Speaker Todd Huston after a racist post from State Representative Jim Lucas surfaced Tuesday. In a letter to the speaker, the IBLC called for Lucas to be removed from his positions as vice chair of the Selection Committee on Government Reduction and his membership on the House Education Committee.

“Silence from the Republican leadership on this discriminatory matter will be taken as an indication of support for Rep. Lucas' offensive behavior,”  Shackleford said.

The text of Shackleford's letter on behalf of the IBLC is pasted below:

 

Dear Speaker Huston,

In times of crisis, we must not apologize for the actions of bad people but for the silence of good people. State Rep. Jim Lucas has exhibited signs of racist behavior on countless occasions with little regard of consequence. In the midst of such an intense racial climate in our state, we need… no, we expect our legislators to be mindful of how they behave and to remember that while we may be divided into districts, each legislator still represents EVERY Hoosier, even those that do not look like them.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) does not believe in making excuses for such behavior. We are aware that some individuals do not know how or care to handle situations like the racism repeatedly displayed by Rep. Jim Lucas; therefore, we make the following recommendations.

  • An implicit bias training to be hosted for the entire legislature (similar to our annual sexual harassment training), because Rep. Lucas is not alone in his thinking and his behavior is enabled by the complacency of some of our colleagues. This behavior is completely unacceptable and unbefitting of a state representative.
  • Removal of Rep. Lucas' leadership position as vice chair of the Select Committee on Government Reduction and his membership on the Education Committee. Rep. Lucas is unremorseful and close-minded in accepting the previous recommendations that have been made to correct his lack of knowledge being displayed. If a leader is not willing to listen, nor willing to learn and follow the advice of the people they lead; then they are simply not fit to be in leadership. Additionally, his discriminatory mentality is not who Indiana should have making state policy over our children and education system.

Know the IBLC is committed to shattering discriminatory and racist behavior, which makes our state unsafe not only for people of color, but for all Hoosiers. We will constantly hold the individuals who enable this behavior accountable even if they are our colleagues. We are dedicated to doing what is necessary to improve society and make the changes necessary to benefit our community.

Please feel free to contact me directly at (317) 201-3403 or robin.shackleford@iga.in.gov. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this letter.

Sincerely,

 

State Representative Robin Shackleford
IBLC Chair

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