DES MOINES, Iowa — State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad was called a racial slur during a virtual legislative forum with Des Moines legislators. The virtual session took place over Zoom Saturday morning.
While Abdul-Samad was talking, several strangers interrupted the call and yelled “white power” and called Abdul-Samad the N-word. Another person then called State Rep. Marti Anderson the B-word. Abdul-Samad said the callers were disconnected and the meeting was continued.
“Yes, it hurts. Yes, it angered me,” said Abdul-Samad.
Saturday night, Abdul-Samad tweeted, “2day n r town hall meeting Rep. Marti Anderson, Jo Olson, Senator Janet Peterson & I was interrupted. The cowards called Marti the B word & me the N word. Marti disconnected the callers. The meeting continued. We must not give up, we must stop hate with love &expose ignorance.”
For two years, several state representatives have organized the legislative forum to inform the community about different legislation at the state level, according to Abdul-Samad. However, due to COVID-19, they decided to host the meeting virtually.