Illinois Latina State Rep Apologizes for Calling Afro-Latino Republican Colleague “a Half” Minority

Apr 12, 2014
8:29 PM

Watch the following video in this post. It shows Illinois state Democratic Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (pictured below) debating charter schools and education reform last Wednesday. At one one point in the video, Rep. Chapa LaVia (from Aurora) said the following: “Listen to me, minorities. I’m over here, because we’re all over on this side, right?” Chapa LaVia was referring to the Democrats on her side of the chamber. Apparently, a Republican colleague spoke up, and Rep. Chapa LaVia, said: “Wait, we have a half. We have a half.”


Here is the video of Chapa LaVia last Wednesday:

On Thursday, according to local reports, Chapa LaVia apologized to Republican Rep. John Anthony (from Morris), an Afro-Latino born to a Black mother and Puerto Rican dad. Here is a picture of Rep. Anthony:


Chapa LaVia, who is Mexican-American, said: “I want to deeply apologize to my side of the aisle over here, my colleagues, my brothers and sisters for my personality meltdown yesterday. I deeply apologize for the words that came out of my mouth The tongue sometimes is the most dangerous part of somebody’s body.”

Anthony had a statement ready for Chapa LaVia’s response: “While I appreciate Representative Chapa LaVia’s apology, I would rather she reconsider her attempt to systematically dismantle the charter school system in Illinois.”

Local outlets reported that Chapa LaVia’s charter schools proposal lost.

By the way, The Chicago Tribune weighed in with an editorial:

Chapa LaVia’s charter schools bill was, thankfully, defeated. Then she asked permission to address the chamber. She tried to apologize for her ugly comment. But it was an apology filled with ifs and buts.

“I apologize,” she began. “But the frustrating thing is …”

Yes, people occasionally lose their cool in Springfield debate. But Chapa LaVia’s comments seemed calculated. Her apology half-hearted.

Such an ugly racial comment — on the House floor, with a gallery of onlookers — deserved nothing more from her but a full-throated, heartfelt apology. And it deserves an admonishment from the leadership of her party.