Senator clarifies comments about sexism, racism

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Senator Mona Das says that her fellow Democrats in the chamber have never said anything overtly sexist or racist, and she says that her recent comments to a chamber of commerce audience were referencing coded language that she hears everywhere, including the caucus room.

“The caucus room doesn’t close and horrible hate speech doesn’t come out of folks’ mouths,” she said Wednesday. She said she was talking directly about the use of terms like “those people” and other phrases that distance those in diverse groups.

Das’ comments, first reported by The Kent Reporter, came during a legislative forum before a Kent Chamber of Commerce audience last week. Das, whose family moved to the U.S. from India when she was an infant, told the crowd that that she experienced “hate, sexism, racism and misogyny” when the caucus room door closed.