“Data currently show that African Americans make up over 16 percent of deaths in our state even though we only make up 9 percent of the population. At a time when those in my community are suffering and dying because of this pandemic and the underlying economic and health disparities in our state, the tasteless Facebook post by Representative Lucas is especially offensive and inappropriate.

“Black Hoosiers are being confronted with extremely harsh circumstances because of this pandemic. The food and medical deserts that are already exist in predominantly African American communities are only exacerbating this reality. When you have elected leaders, with a history of inappropriate and prejudiced behavior, posting racist memes online, it only adds to the feelings by black Hoosiers that the state of Indiana doesn’t have our best intentions in mind. Republican leadership in the statehouse must denounce this post and this behavior. I, along with the other members of the Black Legislative Caucus, call for:

● The creation of an implicit bias training to be hosted for the entire legislature
● The removal of Representative Lucas from his leadership position as vice chair of the Select Committee on Government Reduction and his membership from the Education Committee

“We cannot allow hateful and racist behavior to continue to go unchecked in our legislature. Instead of support, those in my community have been met with mockery and disdain, and they deserve an apology. Each year, members of the IBLC draft legislation to address deep-rooted issues in our communities. Proposals to address important issues, including the underfunded public education system, police and community relations and high infant and maternal mortality rates, are consistently met with apathy and a lack of support. Moving forward, I hope that elected leaders will focus more of their attention on addressing issues plaguing vulnerable Hoosier communities, rather than posting debasing memes online.”