Black lawmakers walk out during vote for ban of critical race theory in Mississippi

Sen. Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, gestures as he explains his amendment to the Mississippi...
Sen. Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, gestures as he explains his amendment to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act in the Senate Chamber at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. The body rejected his amendment but approved the act. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 12:08 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi’s Black lawmakers walked out of legislature on a vote regarding the banning of critical race theory.

Senate Bill 2113 would prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in any public institution in the state.

Senator Michael McLendon introduced the bill. He says it was needed to ensure no child is taught they are superior or inferior to another.

Democratic lawmakers argue the bill is unnecessary.

When asked by Senator Minority Leader Derrick Simmons, McLendon said he was not aware of any Mississippi schools teaching critical race theory.

Sen. John Horhn (D-MS) argued there would be sections of Mississippi’s history that will no longer be able to be taught should the bill become law.

“I think this bill is going to put a chilling effect on that journey. I think it’s going to slow us down on coming together, and I think it’s going to drive a wedge between us that doesn’t need to be driven,” he said.

Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS) says the bill would do nothing to prohibit the previous issues in Mississippi, but make sure that children aren’t told they’re inferior.

“I’m trying to find the mischief in this bill and I don’t see it,” McDaniel said. He argued that if the bill was introduced in the 1950s, it would have been the “most dynamic piece of civil rights legislation in this state’s history.”

Simmons requested a role call and led all of the Black senators out of the chamber.

Simmons issued this statement on the walkout afterward:

The bill passed by a vote of 32-2.

Democrats Sen. David Blount and Sen. Hob Bryan, who did not walk out, voted against the bill. Blount and Bryan are white.

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