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- Apr 18, 2013
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- Political Leaning
This GOP governor's stirring comments on racism
The point is made. Holcomb is pointing out Indiana challenges that Pence never acknowledged.8/20/20
If you had your ear to the ground in Hoosier politics this week, you might have heard something interesting:
"We're also facing another kind of virus that's equally voracious, and it's in turn forcing us to a reckoning as a state and nation -- one that's built on 'equality for all.'
I'm talking about cases of racism -- sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle -- that have led to inequity and exclusion, that have plagued our country throughout our storied history."
No, that's not a line from Kamala Harris' DNC acceptance speech. It's Indiana's Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.
"We now stand at an inflection point, and we have an opportunity to acknowledge those past wrongs, learn from our history and admit where we've come up short of our ideals.
"And yet, it's just a fact, the concept [that all men were created equal] wasn't put into practice even before the ink was dry. Quite the contrary. Laws were established that classified African Americans
as 'property' and prevented women from voting. There's nothing equal about that."
Holcomb delivered this address this week, as he announced a slate of new measures to work toward racial equity -- all made in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. Holcomb's proposals include equipping all frontline state troopers with body cameras by next spring, creating a public dashboard with racial disparity data and adding a new Cabinet post called the chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer.It's important to remember the political context. Holcomb is up for reelection this November. His Democratic challenger is Dr. Woody Myers -- the first Black major party candidate for governor in the state's history. Yet the Indiana governor's office is reliably red, and the race isn't particularly close. "Indiana's Republican governor stood up in front of his red state and drew a straight line from slavery to COVID-19 disparities," tweeted Indy Star metro columnist James Briggs. "If you don't think that counts as progress, try to imagine Mike Pence giving that speech."