Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So Which State Workers Are Not Sending Out Tasteless Emails?

Stung hard and reeling from news about a racist email from a 20-year Republican staffer in the Tennessee Legislature, a Nashville conservative blogger, Blue Collar Muse, shot back today that he had evidence of a cruel email sent out by a Democrat staffer in the legislature and that no outcry would follow from those who blasted the GOP staffer. I tried to find enough details about this email to respond, though it seemed more to me a "so and so did a bad thing too!!" kind of game that BCM wants to play.

Christian at Nashville Is Talking has some info on the email and a link to some of the images allegedly sent out, plus responses by other bloggers across the state.

I rather like what Sean Braisted wrote of today's back-and-forth at Nashville for the 21st Century:

The "democrat" in question appears to be an intern, Blake Graves, who was recently honored by a house resolution citing him as being the "best dressed intern" and recognizing his numerous accomplishments, including "dedicat[ing] his singular skills to several student and civic organizations, including the Student Activities Council, the College Republicans, and volunteering for Hands on Memphis and Volunteer Memphis".

Yes, as an intern he was assigned to a Democrat, but it appears that his allegiances lie elsewhere. Regardless, this whole thing is rather silly. Neither should be fired, as for Goforth, the GOP staffer, the woman has been publicly humiliated on an international stage...a pretty brutal public shaming is punishment enough for what was never intended to be a malicious act, but an act of poor taste"

In the meantime, a very grim picture emerges via OpenPen, and a post there about the number of active white supremacy groups in Tennessee:

In April 2009, a new intelligence assessment by the Department of Homeland Security warns of an increase of extremist recruitment which was fueled by the the election of Barack Obama, fears about immigration and the failing economy. The assessment warns of growth of hate groups and extremist activity across the nation. The report also warned of recruitment of military veterans by these extremist groups. There are approximately 926 of these groups – a 54% increase since 2000 in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In Tennessee, there are thirty-eight of these identified hate groups. In Northeast TN, the SPLC has identified twelve hate groups."

As I said previously:

It is wrong for elected officials and their staff to sling this racist swill disguised as 'humor' -- I've seen and heard what such nasty racial hatred can do to people, how it nurtures this madness and helps it grow. Well, I won't stand for it. I'll do all I can do to stop the growth and nurture a better world and I trust you won't support their racism either."

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Joe. Some random ramblings on the topic:

    It *does* seem to me that BCM was trying to play "gotcha" with liberal bloggers, and now that it appears the intern in question was really a Republican it has blown up in his face.

    But you're right we should all be focusing on the issue this kerfuffle has brought up, which is racism. Everyone is racist to a certain degree, I copped to receiving the e-mail weeks ago from someone out of state and not in government or politics and being offended not so much by the Asian picture but other pics in the e-mail (there were 17 in all).

    That prompted me to do some soul searching and e-mailing to help find my own racist log and pluck it out. Why wasn't I as struck by the Asian picture as I was by some others?

    I dug the e-mail out of my trash folder and saw the "kids in a dog cage" pic which really hit me as bad taste. It was the very first picture in the chain, the one of the Asian men was much further down. So maybe that's why the pic of the kids resonated with me in a way the others didn't.

    There was also a picture of a young woman with large breasts and a soldier staring at them which I found sexist but BCM didn't mention at all. And of course lots of "F-bombs" in captions which as anyone who visits my blog knows, I have NO problem with.

    And then there were some funny pictures, a bird on the beach with a pissed off look on its face, others of animals that were funny. So all in all I can see how an intern would forward something like this because *some* of the pics were funny, some were offensive, it was a hodgepodge.

    And I have to wonder why this kid was fired but Diane Black's staffer was not. Is it because he was an intern? Basically they did the same offense, but one lost his job for it. That seems unfair to me. The policy should be equal.