Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, gavels in the 87th Legislature’s special session in the House chamber at the State Capitol on July 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. / Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa
In the midst of a discussion on the controversial Senate Bill 1 voting rights bill, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan attempted to ban use of the word “racism” in the chamber. The House Speaker began the session by asking lawmakers in the room to behave.
“Members, this is a reminder to everyone to be civil and respectful of our colleagues as we debate S.B. 1. The chair would appreciate members not using the word ‘racism’ this afternoon,” Phelan said during discussion of the bill according to Newsweek.
State Rep. Erin Zwiener was among the Democrats who immediately responded with backlash.
“Wow. The Speaker just asked us to not use the word ‘racism’ during debate today. SB 1 will harm the freedom to vote for all Texans, but it will disproportionately impact people of color. That’s racist, no matter how you dress it up. Period,” Zwiener wrote on Twitter.