Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kerr vs Crafton

Tennessean columnist Gail Kerr takes on Metro Councilman Eric Crafton's English-only petition drive. She doesn't mince words.

It is unconstitutional. It is racist. It is wrong. And it will cost your tax dollars when it ends up in court, as it inevitably will.

She devotes the first chunk of her column to talking about what a waste the effort is. Predictable. The most forceful part of the column comes at the end, though.

So the Korean man trying to enroll his child in school? Tough beans. The Hispanic woman calling the police because her husband is beating her? Too bad, so sad. And how about murderer Paul Dennis Reid, who sits on death row thanks to the testimony of a Spanish-speaking man? The lone witness almost bled to death in the Hermitage McDonalds as he played dead until Reid left. He crawled to a phone and dialed 911.

Thank goodness this law didn't exist that night.

It's going to take television commercials with just that message to beat this amendment at the ballot, not messages saying that the measure is not necessary because immigrants are already learning the language. Opponents will have to hammer this amendment by persuading Davidson County voters that it causes real harms.

Purchasing air time takes money and that takes organization. Wouldn't it be better to spend the money of voluntary contributors in an effective campaign than to make the taxpayers pay the costs of defending against a lawsuit? Gail Kerr has already written your copy gratis. Who's going to bring the message to t.v.?

Based on what I've read so far, even though some prominent opponents have been quoted, no one is saying, "We're going to raise the money. We're going to wage a massive campaign to fight this thing." Hopefully, the coverage in the coming weeks will discuss how the opposition will organize.

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