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Public Statements

Raising a Question of the Priviledges of the House

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Very quickly, Mr. Speaker, just before you do rule, the House of Representatives does have a history of passing resolutions that have been privileged in the past on questions that are offensive and morally repugnant to many Americans.

There was a minister on the south side of Chicago, for example, for which this House took up a particular resolution and denounced that minister for language that he used on numerous occasions against minorities in the United States.

Consistent with the language with this resolution that I have offered, the House has taken a position in the past that allows Members of Congress to express their consciences and their sentiments about the matters that are in front of us.

Now, as a Member of Congress and a member of this institution, my final argument is that each one of these Presidential candidates, whether they are on the Democratic side or on the Republican side, stands the chance to stand in front of us and provide us with a state of the Union address--a state of our country's fiscal health, its social health, its mental health, its physical health--and protect us from enemies both foreign and domestic.

If my motion for someone who might stand in front of me as a Member of Congress and share with me their vision potentially of the United States fails today, it simply suggests that the Congress of the United States is painting over a profound problem that exists in this Nation.

I know that my time has expired for making my argument; but I personally would be offended that the Congress of the United States would not understand the gravity of this resolution by granting Members an opportunity to vote on the specific arguments laid out by The Washington Post for which they've offered their story.

Mr. Speaker, ``nigger'' is offensive.

``Niggerhead'' is offensive.

And for a Governor of one of the great States of our Nation to hunt at Niggerhead Ranch, it's offensive; and I think that I am expressing the moral outrage of all Americans.

I thank the gentleman for allowing me to make my argument

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