Congressman explains the exact moment he understood what his white privilege actually meant
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Dean Philips, the Democratic Representative for Minnesota, has been praised after he delivered an emotional speech acknowledging how he realised he had white privilege.

He  delivered an emotional speech on the House Floor on Thursday evening, discussing how his first instinct during the 6 January riots was to try and evade detection by blending in with the Republicans on the floor. 

He said:

"I'm not here this evening to seek sympathy or just to tell my story [but] rather to make a public apology. For recognising that we were sitting ducks in this room as the chamber was about to be breached. I screamed to my colleagues to follow me, to follow me across the aisle to the Republican side of the chamber, so that we could blend in – so that we could blend in.

“For I felt that the insurrectionists who were trying to break down the doors would spare us, if they simply mistook us for Republicans. But within moments, I recognised that blending in was not an option available to my colleagues of colour.”

Philips is visibly moved and emotional during his speech, saying,

“So I'm here tonight to say to my brothers and sisters in Congress, and all around our country. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. For I had never understood, really understood, what privilege really means. It took a violent mob of insurrectionists and a lightning bolt moment in this very room. But now I know. Believe me, I really know.”

People praised Philips for admitting publicly that he had not fully reckoned with his white privilege.

Phillips' speech came as various senators and sitting members of the house recounted their experiences of 6 January on the House Floor.

The aftermath of the Capitol riots is still being felt by politicians who were at Congress on the day, particularly as many were genuinely fearful for their lives after violent rioters breached Capitol defences.

People involved are still being identified, and the FBI and the DC Police are starting to bring criminal charges against people involved. 

Some lawmakers – such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - have pointed out that their Republican colleagues have had a huge role to play in inciting the violence, speaking at rallies and trumpeting baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The sitting Congress is the most diverse out of any that have come before – there are 535 members of the US congress, and roughly 128 aren’t white. Out of that, twenty members of the Republican Party are people of colour. 

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