PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Rhode Island state representative took to the House floor Thursday night to call out someone who she says referred to her using a derogatory racial slur.
Capitol TV captured the moment when Rep. Anastasia Williams, D-Providence, addressed House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and other members of the chamber.
“I had a DNA test, and yes, I am 100% multicultural dish. But what I’m not is a house slave,” Williams said.
Williams went on to say the slur that, according to Williams, someone she respected “had the audacity” to call her. She did not name that person.
After Williams was done speaking, Mattiello apologized to her, saying, “Even though I was nowhere near the incident when it occurred, nobody should be subjected to that.”
Mattiello also pointed out House rule 10 (b), which states: “No member is permitted to attack another member of the House personally, nor to make false statements about, or question the integrity of, another member.”
“Sometimes we get passionate on the floor. Sometimes we disagree. Sometimes we strongly disagree and that’s all good. Differences of opinion make a stronger,” Mattiello added. “But you can’t violate rule 10 (b), and not one of us can insist that we are right and someone else is wrong.”
While on the floor, Mattiello also urged the person who made those comments to apologize to Williams.
“I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t accept it,” he said to Williams.
Eyewitness News reached out to Rep. Williams for comment but has not yet heard back.