VOICES: After comments, can Huffman effectively represent diverse community?

NOTE: The Ohio NAACP called for state Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, to resign his legislative seat Friday because he asked a witness at a recent hearing whether the “colored population” has been hit harder by COVID because they may not wash their hands as well as other groups.

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, A. Philip Randolph Institute of Ohio and ACLU of Ohio have also called for Huffman to resign.

A doctor, he was fired from his job at TeamHealth in the wake of the comments.

Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson asked Facebook users if Huffman could be an effective voice for a racially diverse community that includes much of Dayton.

Here is a sampling of their responses.

Daj'za Demmings — " No he can't and that's common sense. But if he remains that shows you how flawed our government is."

Daniel Phillips — “ The fact that he represents any part of Dayton makes him a poster child for gerrymandering. His mouth was in gear but his brain is in reverse.”
Pam Dowden Carroll — “ Nope he is showing backward thinking on at least two levels. One, the actual word ‘colored’ and, two, saying the thing about the hand washing. No one needs that kind of thinking. I think he needs to resign.”

Becky Zeh Rowley — " Ineffective. You cannot be effective when you believe there is a difference because of skin color as to whether one group is more hygienic than another. You might be able to say 'someone with a home is more hygienic than someone who lives on the streets' or 'someone with water at their convenience is more likely to wash their hands more frequently.' If he truly believes that skin color = cleanliness or lack of, he needs to sit down."

Carol Bouffioux — “ He needs to get gone.”
Donna Logan Welty — “ No. Please. Resign. Totally unbelievable.”

Ryan Ivory — " Not at all. He showed total ignorance in his words, these types of biases are detrimental. As a physician he took an oath to do no harm. He harmed a culture of people by his words in a legislative setting that is 'supposed' to help people. This is his line of thinking. He was bold and clearly showed his white privilege. Folks are terminated for less. He must go."

Rick Schaefer — “ He cannot effectively represent the part of his gerrymandered district that is diverse, however, the part that’s designed to water down that part of his district will not be bothered by his remarks at all. In fact, it’s likely that the overwhelming majority of them will embrace it. That’s why his district has been drawn the way it has been drawn by Republicans in 2010. It’s a sad day in America that politicians get to choose their voters instead of the other way around.”

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