- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2019

A bill on the better history instruction for young Nebraskans has highlighted a fierce divide between state Sens. Ernie Chambers, an independent, and Tom Brewer, a Republican.

Mr. Chambers made headlines earlier this week when speaking on LB 399, which aims ways to cultivate “competent, responsible, patriotic, and civil American citizens” in the Cornhusker State.

“Senator Groene wants to talk about the meaning of respect,” Mr. Chambers said Tuesday. “What do white people mean by it and what do black people mean by it? White people mean we’ve gotta bow down to what they tell us as black people to bow down to. I don’t come here for this rag every day, and it’s a rag. That’s all it is to me. When you show a way to persuade Jews to sanctify and worship the swastika — when you show me that I’ll come up here and stand while you all hypocritically pretend that rag is something that it definitely is not.”

Mr. Brewer, spent over 30 years in the military, was incredulous in his response Wednesday while holding back tears.

“It rips our heart out to hear someone say that they refer to the flag as a rag because for those of us that have brought home, those that we’ve lost, it’s hard to refer to the flag as a rag because you have to fold it and you have to give it to the parents — that’s awful hard to do,” he said, a local CBS affiliate reported.

State Sen. Julie Slama, the lawmaker responsible for introducing the bill, echoed Mr. Brewer’s sentiment.

“Sen. Chambers’ comments not only degrade a symbol of ultimate sacrifice for our nation, but they also minimize the horrors and millions of lives lost in the Holocaust,” the Republican said, Fox News reported.

Lawmakers who debated the bill for hours this week may revisit the issue Friday if they can gather enough votes to overcome a filibuster, the station reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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