This week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters stood on the floor of the House Financial Services committee debating the repeal of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s 2013 auto lending guidance when she was abruptly interrupted by Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly.

While debating the repeal of an Obama-era rule designed to prevent racial discrimination by auto lenders, Congressman Kelly had some extremely troubling words for Congresswoman Waters, saying: “We’re trying to make America great every day and every way and the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination and start talking about the nation.”

It is deeply troublesome that Congressman Kelly would insinuate that the way to make America great again is by pretending that discrimination doesn’t exist. As a faith community, the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network is appalled by the Congressman’s offensive statement and the undertones of deep racism and sexism conveyed in his exchange with Congresswoman Waters.

At PIIN, it is our belief that we are strongest when we are standing shoulder to shoulder, confronting our history’s troubling past, and working diligently for a better tomorrow. We cannot and will not stay silent.