Rep. Jim Hagedorn should be held accountable for his statements on the death of George Floyd. While interviewed by KEYC on June 1, Hagedorn spent less than 20 seconds talking about George Floyd before minimizing the incident as an exception and describing Derek Chauvin as a single bad apple.

While Hagedorn railed against anarchy in our streets, he never even mentioned racism. Hagedorn claims to have spoken by phone with the mayors of Mankato and Rochester but had no firsthand knowledge of the so-called anarchy he describes. He was a no-show at the peaceful demonstrations and has made no effort speak to people in this district who have experienced police violence.

Hagedorn hasn’t been missed; he brings nothing to the table but more division. While his constituents were coming together to face the challenges of racism, Hagedorn was calling for more National Guard troops and threatening to cut funding to communities he represents. No wonder no one is asking for him. He has proven himself devoid of both leadership and compassion.

Sadly, Hagedorn’s stand is neither new nor unexpected. Last time he faced the public in Mankato, a constituent asked what he had done to reach out to marginalized communities in his district. He tried dodging the question until finally snapping, “I’ve met with those folks, but what’s to talk about. I don’t do that ‘identity’ stuff.”

There’s a lot to talk about Mr. Hagedorn. The rest of us think this identity stuff is serious.

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Brad Herr, Rochester