Marjorie Taylor Greene Confronted by Father of Down Syndrome Child for Using R-Word

The father of a child with Down syndrome confronted Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday over previous comments she made which many deemed to be offensive, using the r-word and referencing Down syndrome.

Shaun Holmes, who is a Republican, spoke to Greene at a meeting of the local GOP in Whitfield County, Georgia. Holmes is the father of 10-year-old Gavin, who has Down syndrome and autism.

Greene, who represents Georgia's 14th congressional district, had drawn criticism for saying: "It's stupid simple, but we have retards—I'm sorry, I know that's an offensive word, and I'm not trying to talk down on people with Down syndrome—but that's what these people are."

"He's my buddy, he's, you know, has changed me a lot," Holmes told Greene.

He said he didn't know in advance that Greene would be at the meeting, according to WTVC NewsChannel 9.

"I just want a response from you. To call people retarded and then say no offense to people with Down syndrome. I mean that's bullsh*t," Holmes said.

"Just being a regular person, a lot of times I use slang word and using that term," Greene said, but Holmes interrupted her, saying: "No, no, that is not acceptable."

THREAD (1/3) A Whitfield County Republican and father of 10 year old with Down Syndrome, confronted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene during a GOP meeting Tuesday night over her use of the “R” word in a previous video. pic.twitter.com/LpdMd9PAp0

— Sabrina Maggiore (@SabrinaNC9) February 10, 2021

"I guess it was a slang word," Greene went on. "You can actually look it up in the dictionary. There is a definition that means 'stupid.' But it's not about people with Down Syndrome [...] I do apologize for that being offensive to anyone."

Holmes said he had spoken up for Gavin because his son could not speak for himself. He explained: "He's nonverbal. He literally has no verbal voice."

Some of those attending the meeting expressed support for Greene during the exchange but the freshman representative did make an apology for any offense she'd caused.

"I do apologize for that being offensive to anyone and I certainly don't mean that at all," Greene said.

"Right now, I mean, she, she doesn't represent my son or my family at this point," Holmes later told WTVC NewsChannel 9. Holmes said Greene owed the Down syndrome community an apology.

The news channel also spoke to another parent of a Down syndrome child, Kathleen Thorman, at the suggestion of the Whitfield GOP. She had praise for Greene while also rejecting the use of the r-word.

"She's always been very compassionate and kind. I think the gentlemen last night never had the opportunity to see what I saw. And like I said, it's more about what people do, rather than what people say," Thorman said.

Thorman is chair of the Gordon County Republican Party and a mother of nine children, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome.

Greene has caused significant controversy since taking office in January. She had previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory but later disavowed it. However, recent media reports highlighted her past social media posts questioning the reality of school shootings and appearing to support the execution of prominent Democrats.

The House of Representatives voted to remove Greene from two committees following widespread criticism arising from the media reports.

Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. Greene was confronted on Tuesday over past remarks using the r-word. Drew Angerer/Getty Images