Indiana state lawmaker under fire for Facebook conversation about race

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana state senator is facing backlash after the resurfacing of a 2015 Facebook discussion in which he said “racism is not real” and lamented the plight of the white male.

Republican Sen. Andy Zay of Huntington says he should’ve “been more careful with my words.” He made the comments before being selected in 2016 to serve a congressman-elect’s remaining Senate term. Zay says he does believe racism is real.

Democrat Tyler Cooley provided the private direct message conversation he had with Zay. Cooley says he was aghast by the remarks.

Zay represents all of northeastern Indiana’s Wabash County and parts of Grant, Huntington and Whitley counties. He’s running for re-election this fall. The Democratic candidate for the Senate seat, Gary Snyder, says he’s “disturbed” by the views Zay expressed in the conversation.

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