PHOENIX — The only two black members of the Arizona Legislature were formally chastised for speaking out against a Republican lawmaker’s published column, which included a racial slur and they say derided black activists while attempting to discredit leaders of a teacher group protesting for better pay.
Rep. Maria Syms wrote in a column published in the Arizona Republic that the two best-known leaders of the #RedforEd movement are “political operatives” who are radicalizing Arizona youth. She called Noah Karvelis’ classroom “exotic” and said he prides himself on teaching students music from the hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar. Syms included a lyric from the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist that included a derogatory term for African-Americans.
Democratic Rep. Reginald Bolding, who is black, said he was offended by the language she used.