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April 15, 2021


DENVER, CO– Representative Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver, today released the following statement calling on Representative Ron Hanks, R-Penrose, to apologize for his offensive floor remarks regarding the Three-fifths Compromise:

“I asked to speak to give a different perspective of why civics is important for all students to learn. As a descendant of the enslaved, I am here due to a long arduous journey through American civics ideals. Hearing Rep. Hanks’ revisionist retelling of one of our nation’s darkest, most dehumanizing chapters was hurtful, but frankly not surprising,” said Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “The irony of having this brash display occur in the midst of a debate on strengthening our civics education was tragically adequate. The fact is, we need to do better in educating all Coloradans, young and old, about the violent and racist foundations of our country, like an original sin of slavery, our history of lynching and the dehumanization that the Three-fifth’s Compromise represented. If we fail to understand these hateful underpinnings, we will never be able to dismantle their legacy, which echoes into policy and systemic discrimination in every area of American life today.”

Rep. Hanks’ remarks followed Rep. Bacon’s impassioned defense of civics education and the importance of learning about slavery in America and the Three-fifths Compromise. The remarks came during debate on SB21-067, legislation that would strengthen civics education.

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