Rep. Ford Carr has a lot to say.

Republican leaders in the Kansas House have given a serious warning to Democrat Rep. Ford Carr from Wichita. They weren’t happy with his recent speech in the house where he called out another Democratic legislator for voting with the GOP.

During his speech, Carr suggested that the funding for the Quindaro Ruins Archaeological Park Project was a reward for the other legislator, Marvin Robinson, for supporting Republican votes. But both Robinson and GOP lawmakers say that Robinson had no idea about the $250,000 funding. In the end, Governor Kelly vetoed the funding, which made both Republicans and Democrats upset.

Carr didn’t hold back in his speech and criticized Robinson, saying, “I would never trade my vote so the people in my neighborhood, the people who I support, would never look at me and think I might be one of those house negroes..” The House Speaker Pro Tempore Blake Carpenter, R-Derby, got onto Carr but he was allowed to continue speaking.

Almost a month later, the House Speaker and another leader sent Carr a letter saying that his comments went against the rules of order and decorum. The letter also referred to a manual that says legislators shouldn’t talk about things that attack other people’s motives.

The letter is a warning and doesn’t lead to any punishment, but it tells Carr that if he breaks the rules again, someone could complain about him and it could start a formal investigation. He could even be kicked out of the legislative body.

In response to the letter—that he viewed as a threat—Carr responded strongly saying that the letter was just an attempt to silence him because he’s a Black lawmaker. He says that some people in the legislature struggle to accept a Black legislator who “speaks their mind.” Carr compared his situation to what happened in Tennessee when the legislature removed two Black lawmakers who led protests for gun control.

Carr said that what he did wasn’t any different from what other legislators have done before him. He believes it’s important to talk about things that make some people uncomfortable, even if it makes the largely-White legislators feel guilty. Carr made it clear that his job is to serve his constituents, not to worry about his fellow legislators’ feelings.