Hours after he rejected an invitation for the Congressional Black Caucus to meet President Donald Trump at the White House, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) stirred up a heated discussion on the House floor and suggested that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was exercising “traditional white privilege” by comparing statistics between New Orleans and El Salvador.
King was comparing the violent death homicide rate post-Katrina in New Orleans to statistics for the same crime in El Salvador and noted that in New Orleans it was was 90 per 100,000, which was “very, very close to the 93.09 out of El Salvador.”
The statement prompted Richmond, who lives in Louisiana, to object to Congressman King’s comparison of both murder rates.
Video of the incident was uploaded to YouTube under the title “When they want silence, Democrats entertain violence.”
“We’re going to lose all civility in this committee if he thinks it’s appropriate to compare New Orleans to Guatemala,” Richmond said. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, responded to Richmond by saying, “The gentleman from Iowa [King] has a right to make a statistical comparison between two locations.”
However, Richmond pushed forward. “Well, you’re comparing the people in the locations,” he said. “That would be like me comparing him to somebody in the [Klu Klux] Klan. I don’t have any basis to do that.”
Goodlatte explained once again to Richmond that King was “entitled to make those remarks.”
However, Richmond shot back, “We just had a conversation about civility in this United States Congress. Now I wear badges of bipartisanship because I actually take up and stand up for principles. I am not going to sit here and let him do that.” He added, “Now, if the gentleman persists on it, then let’s go in the back and have the conversation about New Orleans. But I am not going to sit here and do that.”
Then, Richmond said, “And if it takes walking across over there, then I’m prepared to do that too. But it’s not appropriate, it’s insensitive, and it’s nothing more then traditional white privilege of let me criticize a minority city. Now take it how you want. I’m telling you how I feel.”