MN State Representative preaches judging by content of character, rather than color of skin
St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State Representative Eric Lucero (R – 30B) is opening up about his experiences as a minority and a member of the Republican Party after facing blatant hypocrisy, prejudice, and media bias, as allegations of racism casually tossed towards the GOP grow louder and more frequent.
Lucero is proud to be born to a Hispanic father, but says unlike his counterparts in the DFL, he doesn’t put race at the forefront of who he is.
“Unlike the other side of the aisle, I am not defined by my race. What defines me are my values, and values transcend color.” said Lucero, still vexed after an aggressive encounter during a committee hearing earlier in the week.
During the Public Safety Policy and Finance Committee Wednesday, Lucero was repeatedly harassed and shouted at, first for not being a person of color, and then after his heritage was established, for being a person of color and not voting with Democrats. Committee members were hearing testimony and voting on legislation that would increase the penalties for illegal protests that shut down freeways, airports, and trains.
A testifier at the committee hearing scolded the committee for “not having a single person of color.” Lucero quickly corrected the testifier, who neither recognized Lucero’s ability to comment on racial issues nor apologized for judging him based on the color of his skin alone.
After the committee voted to pass the legislation, an African American testifier stood up and began shouting remarks at Lucero like, “I’m coming for you indigenous brother!” “Take off your KKK hood!” – calling Lucero a “pawn for the racist game” and telling him he’s “furthering racism.” The major television stations and newspapers in the Twin Cities captured every moment of the exchange, and not one outlet reported on it.
“I’m not surprised at all that they didn’t cover it,” said Lucero, “The media is clearly biased, and if there is anything that goes against their preconceived notions and narrative, then they simply won’t publish it.” said the two-term representative.
Several representatives of minority background in the House DFL have claimed they experience blatant racism and “microaggressions” from their fellow House members. Lucero says these claims are completely self-fabricated.
“I have never experienced that, not a single time,” says Lucero on racist treatment in the House, further explaining, “If you’re looking for something, you will find a way to be offended. If that’s the focus of your mindset, and you want to give it a new term called ‘microaggressions’ you will find a way to be a victim. It’s a mindset countless people in our society have chosen to overcome.”
Because Lucero is a member of the Republican Party, his opinions on racial issues Wednesday were cast aside and disregarded. “Which side are you on, brother?” shouted an angry protester. Lucero says he doesn’t mind, he would rather be judged on his logic, beliefs, and values than his heritage and the color of his skin. Lucero says he does not hold anger towards those who attacked him, but he does pity them.
“We heard multiple references in that committee to Martin Luther King Jr. I wish that the people saying this would live up to the very things they espoused, and would focus on the content of my character rather than the color of my skin.”
Lucero says while he does believe racism exists, he does not believe it has the ability to hold back citizens who truly want to accomplish something, stating, “I don’t let any constraint on the color of my skin or my ethnicity define or place limitations on my own life, nor do I subscribe to the value that anyone else in our society is deemed to a predestined outcome based on their race.”
Lucero was first elected in 2014 and works as a cyber security consultant when he is not serving his community as a State Representative.