Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip who was shot at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, is a homophobic racist. In 2014, it was uncovered that the congressman spoke at an international conference of white supremacists in (he apologized, but only after many denials), where he reportedly referred to himself as “David Duke without the baggage.” As Fusion reports, Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, even praised Scalise for “defending white civil rights” after he was shot. The Majority whip also authored Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, and has an extensive record of voting against LBGTQ rights.
Ironically, one of two special agents on Scalise’s security detail yesterday who helped take down the shooter and save the congressman's life (he is in the hospital in critical condition) was Crystal Griner, a Black queer woman and a Capitol Police officer. Witnesses said the agents prevented a “massacre,” engaging in a shootout with the gunman before killing him. Griner was also injured in the firefight, and her wife Tiffany was by her side in a hospital as she recovered, according to The Advocate.
Unfortunately, I doubt this information will prompt the congressman to change his bigoted ways. Black women have a long history of trying to and saving this country and all of those within it, despite there being a constant unwillingness to reciprocate. It makes one wonder: What if there is nothing left to salvage? What happens when, as the poet Langston Hughes warned, those who continue to redeem this America despite its anti-Black violence "change their minds"?
Banner photo via scalise.house.gov / The Frederick News-Post