Thursday, June 2, 2011

Alabama senators shout during session after one says Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey's actions seemed ''almost racist"

Kay IveyLt. Gov. Kay Ivey

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- State senators yelled on the Senate floor today after Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, told Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey her choices of which senators to call on to speak seemed ''almost racist."
  ''Sometimes it seems it's almost racist the way you choose to recognize" which senators can speak, Ross told Ivey. Ivey presides over debate in the Senate and decides which senator can speak on an issue at one of two microphones at the front of the Senate chamber.
  Asked about Ross's comment, Ivey in an interview said, ''He's entitled to his view, but he's wrong."
  Ivey is white. So are all 22 Senate Republicans, who also are all men. Of the 12 Senate Democrats, seven are black and five are white. Ross is black.
  Ross, speaking on the floor, asked Ivey to ''think about all the people in the state of Alabama, not just one party."
  Then Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, shouted from the other mike at the front of the Senate floor that Ross was making derogatory comments in violation of Senate rules.
  ''You called the lieutenant governor of this state a racist. That is derogatory," Ward shouted.
  Ross shouted back that he called Ivey's actions racist, not her. ''I didn't call her racist. I called the actions."
  Ivey banged a gavel and said loudly, ''we will have order in this body," and the shouting subsided.

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