Inquiry sparked by senator’s comments about sexism, racism

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Secretary of the Senate has asked the chamber’s human resources officer to conduct an inquiry into public comments made by a senator who said she experienced “hate, sexism, racism and misogyny” during closed-door Democratic meetings.

Secretary Brad Henderson said once he was made aware of a story earlier this week by The Kent Reporter detailing the remarks by Democratic Sen. Mona Das, he requested the inquiry, which was approved at a Thursday meeting of the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee.

Das, whose family moved to the U.S. from India when she was an infant, told a Kent Chamber of Commerce audience last week that the “hate, sexism, racism and misogyny I experienced when that caucus room door closed would shock only the white folks in the room because the brown folks know it’s there.”

This week Das clarified her statements, saying that the experiences she detailed were not overt, but instead coded language she hears everywhere, including the caucus room.

Henderson said the inquiry will begin Monday.