Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Republican Party has “no problem” using the word “diverse” when discussing people of color, but that Democrats have to stop using it as a slur.
Paul’s comments came as Democrats on Capitol Hill were preparing to take a vote on the Stop Using the N-Word Act, which aims to curb the misuse of the slur.
The bill is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and was introduced by Sen. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Monday.
The bill, which is still pending in the Senate, is aimed at stopping racial and ethnic slurs from being used to describe people of different races or ethnicities.
Lewis introduced the bill on Monday and has been working on a bill to ban the use and promotion of the phrase “dignity, honor, or worth.”
“Democrats are now using the slur, ‘diversity,’ to describe all people of all colors and ethnicities, and in many cases, they’re not even using the term to describe individuals who are white,” Lewis said on Monday, according to The Hill.
“The only way to fight racism is to stop appropriating it, to stop saying it, and to start saying something different.”
“The Republican Party should stop using this language, and Democrats should stop saying ‘dignities’ and ‘worths’ and all these other things,” he added.
“I believe we can do better.”
Paul is an outspoken supporter of the Stop Calling People “Diversity” bills and has long been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.
In 2015, he called the term a “racial slur.”
“When I was in high school, the first thing I learned about racial difference was that we weren’t all the same,” he said in a 2014 interview with CBS News.
“It was a big difference.
And when I was younger, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a really big difference.’
I mean, you’re a different race, right?
So, I was not ready to accept that there’s a difference.
I was still too young to understand the difference.”
In a 2015 essay for The Washington Post, Paul wrote that it was time for “the Democrats to stop being a party of white supremacists and to accept people of diverse backgrounds and the dignity they have.”