INDIANAPOLIS -– Huntington Sen. Andy Zay said “racism is not real” and lamented the plight of the white male in a three-year-old Facebook discussion that surfaced this week online.
Zay was not a state senator when the private debate occurred, which has since become public. But he is running for re-election to the Senate District 17 seat in the fall.
“Racism is not real. The biggest minority class in America is the white male,” he said in the direct message conversation. “More white males are refused to college, medical schools and law schools than any other group. Yes there are more, but these so called minorities are given way more opportunity to succeed and be part of successful programs than the average white male.”
The other person in the conversation then said, “are you serious right now…Do you realize that everything I’m telling you is getting tweeted and sent to every reporter I know. You are a horrible bigot.”
Other topics included in the long discussion were tax abatements, minimum wage and then-President Barack Obama. On Obama Zay appeared to quote another person who called the president a Muslim who hates America.
Zay sent a statement to The Journal Gazette Monday saying:
"Racism is not a topic that should be taken lightly, and I should have been more careful with my words in the discussion that has been posted online by others. My remarks were part of a much broader discussion on the American Dream. I believe every Hoosier and every person should be treated equally regardless of race. I agree with the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that all people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin."
For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Wednesday.