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Racist Zoom bombers crash Iowa state lawmaker meeting, repeatedly shouting racial slurs


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    DES MOINES, IA (WQAD) — Anonymous racist trolls on Saturday crashed a public meeting of Iowa state lawmakers on the video conferencing service, Zoom. The “Zoom bombing” of a virtual legislative forum hosted by four Des Moines area lawmakers comes one week after a similar incident on a Iowa Democratic Black Caucus meeting.

“I don’t think these people would have come forth if we were having an in-person meeting,” said State Representative Marti Anderson of the 36th District in Des Moines.

Rep. Anderson was both the host of the meeting with constituents and a participant of discussions. At about 40 minutes into the meeting, the first troll began shouting racial slurs and sexist abuse aimed at Rep. Anderson.

“Anonymous scoundrels who were intent on spewing hateful, vulgar language at us,” said Rep. Anderson.

Most shocking of all to many of the participants at the meeting was the use of the “n-word” apparently aimed at State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad of the 35th District in Des Moines. Sadly, he said, he was not so shocked to hear that word.

“You know, being called the ‘n-word’ isn’t something that just happened in 2021,” Rep. Abdul-Samad said. “It was good for me in a way, that individuals of another ethnicity were able to see what black people have been going through for decades.”

Rep. Anderson said she spoke at length with an investigator at the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigations. However, it’s not clear if the trolls can be charged with a crime.

“Whatever the charges might be, it’s not important to me. It’s important to me that they know that they were caught,” Rep. Anderson said.

Despite the hateful language and abuse, Rep. Abdul-Samad maintained his composure throughout the meeting.

“We are fighting a good fight. We are doing a struggle. Because if we were not, we wouldn’t have individuals trying to interrupt this call,” Rep. Abdul-Samad told participants near the end of the Saturday meeting.

“We’re forging ahead, while they’re trying to live in the past,” he said.

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