Over the weekend, the Santa Fe New Mexican shamefully picked up a political hit by a vague group claiming to be “leaders of Black communities and organizations in New Mexico,” claiming that state Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval & Santa Fe) and another lawmaker in the Senate had used coded racist language and “overtly racist conduct” to denigrate African Americans in the NM Roundhouse.
The statement from the group also says, “The conduct of these legislators is reflective of a systemic lack of unbiased reverence and respect for Black women and Black people in general.”
Also earlier this month, Rep. Stefani Lord, R-Sandia Park, called to consult law enforcement during a committee hearing in response to Alexandria Taylor’s description of her research into House Bill 156, which prescribes felony charges for police officers accused of sexually assaulting people in custody.
Lord asked Taylor, deputy director of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, if she had spoken with law enforcement about the bill.
“I have had conversations with law enforcement officers about this bill and those who I spoke with who are not harming members of the public did not have an issue with this bill because they are not raping members of the community,” Taylor said.
Lord said she had spoken to law enforcement officers who opposed the bill without being guilty of sexual assault. While explaining her vote against the bill, Lord called an unnamed law enforcement officer.
“When you call the sheriff during a committee hearing because you don’t like the all-too-real narrative of misconduct among law enforcement officers, you’re not making a stand with law enforcement,” New Mexico Black Leadership Council member Mason Graham said at a news conference organized by the nonprofit Saturday morning.
Lord defended the phone call as standard procedure.
“I sought outside counsel and asked them, ‘Is this already a law?’ The phone call was nothing more,” Lord said in a telephone interview Saturday.
The accusation against Rep. Lord is clearly absurd, especially given that none of the news outlets running this story have bothered to share the video of the committee hearing which you can watch HERE. She released the following statement:
As some of you may have noticed, a group of left-wing activists got fed up with me challenging their radicalism in legislative committee meetings. Without any evidence, they have decided to call me a “racist,” which is the word the Left uses whenever it wants to silence someone putting up a fight. Well, I won’t be silenced by accusations made without ANY evidence.
Furthermore, shame on the Santa Fe New Mexican for publishing BASELESS rumors without even bothering to contact the accused for comments. We need good journalism in this country, but given how far standards have fallen, it’s no wonder the majority of citizens can’t trust their newspapers.
At the end of the day, these activists are attacking me for defending law enforcement officials from the slander and attacks that they continuously have to endure. When our law enforcement is unjustly slandered, our communities suffer. I will proudly continue to stand up for ALL my constituents’ rights, including those in law enforcement.