A father to a 10-year-old boy with Down’s syndrome confronted congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene over past comments she made about the condition, and many deemed to be offensive, at a GOP meeting on Tuesday.
Shaun Holmes, a Whitfield County Republican, reportedly addressed Ms Greene about comments she made about Down’s syndrome, and said he decided to speak-up on Tuesday because his son can’t, WTVC NewsChannel 9 reported.
Ms Greene, who represents Georgia's 14th congressional district, was recently condemned after she described people with Down’s syndrome as “retards” who were “so stupid”, in a video shared on social media. It was recorded and uploaded before she was elected to Congress in November.
"I'm sorry, I know that's an offensive word, and I'm not trying to talk down on people with Down syndrome — but that's what these people are." Ms Greene added in the video.
Mr Holmes, who was not aware Ms Greene would be attending the weekly meeting of the Whitfield County Republican Party, confronted the congresswoman in front of other GOP officials — some of whom said they supported the congresswoman, according to NewsChannel 9.
“He’s my buddy, he's, you know, has changed me a lot”, said Mr Holmes, who demanded Ms Greene respond to criticism about the video calling Down’s syndrome people “stupid”.
"I just want a response from you,” said Mr Holmes. “To call people retarded and then say no offence to people with Down syndrome. I mean that's bull****,” he added.
Ms Greene responded, and said she was "just being a regular person, a lot of times I use slang word[s] and using that term," before Mr Holmes interrupted her, saying: "No, no, that is not acceptable."
“I guess it was a slang word. You can actually look it up in the dictionary,” continued Ms Greene. “There is a definition that means ‘stupid.’ But it’s not about people with Down’s Syndrome... I do apologise for that being offensive to anyone.”
Mr Holmes told NewsChannel9 afterwards that Ms Greene owed his son and people with Down’s syndrome an apology, and that "Right now, I mean, she doesn't represent my son or my family”.
Another parent and the chairman of the neighbouring Gordon County Republican Party, Kathleen Thorman, added to NewsChannel 9 that the congresswoman had been compassionate with her own daughter, who also has Down’s syndrome.
“She’s always been very compassionate and kind,” said Ms Thorman. “I think the gentlemen last night never had the opportunity to see what I saw. And like I said, it’s more about what people do, rather than what people say.”
Ms Greene, meanwhile, provided NewsChannel9 with a list of 15 pieces of legislation she has co-sponsored since being elected to Congress, which included an impeachment article against US president Joe Biden, and a law protecting unborn children with Down’s syndrome from abortion.
Members of the House last week overwhelmingly voted to remove Ms Greene of her committee assignments, following a number of other controversies and previous support for online conspiracies, including QAnon.
This article was amended on February 17, 2021, to change a reference to ‘Down’s syndrome sufferers’ to ‘people with Down’s syndrome’.
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