WCBE_Header_Final_2.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
If you have a question or comment about WCBE's new programming lineup, please call 614-365-6655 and leave us a message!

Senator Under Fire For Racially Insensitive Question At Hearing On Racism

steve_huffman_head_shot.jpg
Ohio Senate
/

A Republican state senator has lost his job as an emergency room doctor after asking a racially insensitive question at a hearing on a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. The lawmaker has issued a statement saying his question was “unintentionally awkward” and “perceived as hurtful”, but he did not apologize for it. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Sen.ator Steve Huffman can barely be heard on the video of the hearing questioning the head of the Ohio Minority Health Commission about COVID-19 hitting black Ohioans disproportionately hard. But Shibani Chettri heard him.

“He basically said, could it just be that African Americans or the colored population do not wash their hands as well as some other groups?”

Chettri, a PhD candidate in epidemiology at Ohio State who was there to testify for the resolution, said she was horrified.

“He had his question answered and then he dismissed everything that was presented to him.”

And she adds:

“It just exemplified everything we were talking about, I think.”

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and the ACLU of Ohio are among those who called on Huffman to resign.

 

The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.
Related Content