INDIANAPOLIS—On Tuesday, Senate Democratic Assistant Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement on his opposition against Senate Bill 202.
“To create a bill aimed at supporting only a particular subsection of students is unjustifiable. SB 202 is legislation based on a 60-year-old study showing that Black and conservative students feel the least comfortable on college campuses. With no data presented from this decade, SB 202 seeks to safeguard conservative students who claim they’re a target of harassment if their political views are known. For Black students—who cannot hide their race and are always vulnerable to racism—no additional protection or aid was included in this bill.
“When I was in college over 30 years ago, I faced racism and discrimination on a regular basis. Just walking down the street, I had slurs thrown at me. Today, my children are experiencing that same thing. Yet—my Republican colleagues chose to advance legislation that completely neglects the more than 60% of Black college students facing this reality. Instead of passing legislation to protect students enduring discrimination in a nation where the history of hatred toward Black Americans has filled entire chapters of history—and ensuring that history is taught—this Legislature has made it a priority to ensure conservative students don’t have to face questions from professors or other students about political viewpoints.
“At the same time, they also removed the word ‘minority’ from state code and changed it to ‘underrepresented’ without heeding any of the concerns from actual minorities. Why is it that minority groups are never included in the discussion on how it is we want to be referenced? How is it that people who have never walked in our shoes assume they know best for us and should be able to speak for us? From negros to colored people—to now underrepresented—I guess my colleagues have decided to continue the trend of their ancestors to refer to us as they wish without our input. This entire bill is shameful, disrespectful and a slap in a face. It does not promote equality for our students and prioritizes the hurt feelings of conservative students while doing nothing to address or even acknowledge the harassment, hatred and violence that students—such as Black or LGBTQ+ students—face disproportionately on a daily basis.”