State Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R-Hawaii) expressed her dismay and disdain against Donald Trump and in return, her GOP colleagues voted out her of her Republican minority leader position, which she has held since 2012.
Bill Chappell with NPR reports Fukumoto said her fellow Republicans ousted her because she participated in the Women's March and protested the Trump presidency.” The 33-year-old lawmaker stated:
"They told me they would keep me in this position if I would commit to not disagreeing with our president for the remainder of his term.
Mr. Speaker, I'm being removed because I refused to make that commitment, because I believe it's our job as Americans and as leaders in this body to criticize power when power is wrong."
On January 21, 2017, Fukumoto spoke at Hawaii’s Women's March which coincided with millions of women and men protesting against Donald Trump around the world. She spoke about how she was booed and insulted by her party during the Republican National Convention because she refused to endorse Trump. Now that he is president, it’s a different situation, but Fukumoto doesn’t seem to care. She continues to speak her truth.
Here is a 3-minute YouTube clip of Fukumoto at Hawaii’s Womens March speech.
Below is the video transcript:
(Hawaii State Rep. Beth Fukumoto at Women’s March on January 21, 2017)
“Today I’d like to talk to you a little bit about my niece. She's eight years old and she's campaigned with me since she was two. She's come with me to all sorts of events and last summer when I stood at my party's convention,
Today I’d like to talk to you a little bit about my niece. She's eight years old and she's campaigned with me since she was two. She's come with me to all sorts of events and last summer when I stood at my party's convention, she watched as a ballroom full of men and women tossed insults and booed me, because instead of pledging to support my party's nominee, I said I found his remarks were racist and sexist and they had no place in the Republican Party. (Applause) Thank you.
Now to that room full of people, I was a traitor or a fake or one of the many derogatory words that I was called on social media afterwards. But to my niece, I had told the truth, because little kids know what’s right and wrong. (Applause)
We teach them that they're supposed to be nice and kind to everyone even when they're different. So she didn't understand why people would be so mean to me when I stood up on stage and said that Donald Trump should say things that he says. We had to explain later that sometimes people are angry and they don't know how to express it so they treat other people badly. We explained that sometimes people are bullies, but that you should they treat people with respect. We told her that you always stand up to bullies no matter who they are. (Applause)
And then — she watched a bully win the presidency of the United States.
Now today, it's not about who you voted for. People cast their votes for a lot of different reasons. but no matter who your choice was, the fact remains a man wants the White House with anger and hate and our kids watched it happen. Now it's our job to let them watch us fight back. (Applause)
So I'm going ask you today to get involved. Testify at the legislature, run for office, help run a campaign, but do it with kindness. Show kids that everyone's voice matters even when they believe the opposite thing that you do. Teach them that everyone deserves respect, and let them know that in the end — love will always win. Thank you.”
Hawaii Republican House Representative Bob McDermott who cast his vote to remove Fukumoto from her position said,
“You’re not speaking for yourself anymore.”
He would be correct there. Fukumoto is speaking for the majority of this country.
NPR reports the only Republican to vote for keeping Fukumoto in her leadership role was Rep. Cynthia Thielen who said on the House floor:
"God I am sorry to lose our minority leader, someone I so deeply, deeply respect — the face of Republicanism as it should be, but it won't be any more."
Rep. Beth Fukumoto is a leader who would most likely be welcomed with open arms into the Democratic Party. The move is being considered. The decision will be determined after hearing from her constituents.
Democrat or Republican — we need more of this kind of #Resistance. Thank you, Beth Fukumoto.
And we march on...