You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Colleagues criticize Vermont lawmaker’s comments on race

MONTPELIER — A Vermont lawmaker is under fire from some of his colleagues for comments that some of them deemed racially insensitive.

Representative Douglas Gage, a Rutland Republican, speaking during floor debate Thursday on a measure to expand police training against racial profiling, told his colleagues of a conversation he had had with a neighbor ‘‘of color’’ who came to him with a complaint.

Continue reading below

‘‘The complaint was that other people in the Rutland area of color he wished would go back home,’’ Gage said. ‘‘He was upset with them. He said many of them were drug dealers. This is his words, not mine. He said they’re couch surfers. They lived with, he used the word ‘white girls.’ Many of them are drug dealers. ‘They are giving me a bad reputation.’ This was his complaint to me.’’

Gage, who told fellow lawmakers that the man had lived in his neighborhood ‘‘for 30 to 35 years, most of his entire life,’’ said in a later interview he could not remember the man’s name.

During the debate, supporters of the bill said Vermont needed to address the fact that half of 1 percent of its population is made up of black men while that group is 13 percent of its prison population.

Gage voted for the bill in a House roll call. But some of his colleagues expressed shock at his comments.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.