Michigan Department of Civil Rights to Rep. Bettie Scott:
"An Apology is Not Enough"
August 23, 2018
Lansing, MI–Today, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights urged Rep. Bettie Cook Scott and her staff to undertake training in cultural competency, discriminatory harassment, racial equity and unconscious bias, as well as guidance in basic civil rights law. MDCR issued this recommendation in response to widespread reports of Rep. Scott using racial slurs to describe Rep. Stephanie Chang, her opponent in the Aug. 7 primary, and individuals working on Rep. Chang's campaign.
"Rep. Scott's apology and plan to meet directly with Rep. Chang is a good initial step," said Agustin V. Arbulu, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. "But an apology alone is not enough. Rep. Scott also needs to commit to a guided learning process to address her unfortunate behavior so that she can adequately serve all of her constituents, regardless of their race or ethnicity, whether as a member of the Michigan legislature or in any other capacity."
Arbulu also committed that the Department is willing to work with Rep. Scott and Rep. Chang to recommend or develop a detailed training program, and to provide some of the training if appropriate.
"It is important that Rep. Scott take concrete steps that go well beyond a nicely-worded statement in addressing the serious problems her words have revealed," said Arbulu.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the operational arm of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and working to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides information and services to government agencies, businesses and organizations on diversity initiatives and equal employment law. For more information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to http://www.michigan.gov/mdcr.