WATERBURY, Conn. — A video teleconference held by U.S. Rep Jahana Hayes was interrupted by person or persons calling her the N-word and flooding the chat with derogatory comments and music Monday night.
Hayes said in a Twitter post, "So sorry to Newtown who had to endure this zoom bombing episode During our mtg these ppl continued to call me the N-word, play derogatory music & flood the chat with comments like this. This behavior is being normalized! We can ALL choose not to accept it. Please vote on Nov 3rd."
She posted a screen grab of the comments during the community meeting on her Twitter as well.
Erick Russell, Vice-Chair, Ct. Democratic Party, said, “It is not easy because when you go through an experience like this, the last thing you want to do is continue to rehash it and have to speak on this over and over again, but the reality is that racism exists in this country and it is not going to go away by pretending it is not there."
Democratic State Chair Nancy DiNardo released a statement on the zoom bombing:
"Yesterday, a U.S. Senator said the worst thing anyone could call a person is racist. He’s wrong. This happened last night during a community meeting in CT and it is far, far worse. This horrific attack must be denounced by all. It is beyond time for leadership that unites."
The first-term Democratic congresswoman, represents much of western Connecticut including Danbury, Meriden, New Britain and most of Waterbury.
She has been public about her recovery from COVID-19 over the past several weeks.
Last week she participated in a virtual debate with her opponent for the fifth district seat, David X. Sullivan.
Zoom bombing is a term used to describe when participants, often uninvited, in a video conference start using disruptive and offensive language during the event and harass the speaker or host of the chat.