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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who's really spreading hate and intolerance in Tennessee?

The Southern Nationalist Network recently named organisations in several Southern states which "create a climate of hatred and intolerance against White Southerners and Christians." SSN's purpose is to keep "track of the radical Left and groups that promote an anti-Southern, anti-White and/or anti-Christian agenda." These hateful and intolerant organizations are the Human Rights Campaign of Tennessee, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center, the Nation of Islam, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Tennessee Equality Project.

While SSN provides no criteria for selecting these "hateful and intolerant" organizations, a quick visit to their website paints a picture of their worldview. Here are some snippets to save you the trouble:

  • Southern Nationalist Network (SNN) was created in the Fall of 2010. Those associated with this website believe that the Southern people constitute a historic and truly national population which, like every nation of people, has a natural and unalienable right to self-determination. SNN advocates the peaceful establishment of Southern independence.
  • [W]e believe in the right of secession. Therefore, no government is indivisible and permanent since the people always retain the right to alter, abolish or secede from it when they so decide.
  • We demand a free South where Southerners may control their own affairs, independent from outside control or manipulation. We demand a free South where Southern identity and Southern peope [sic] may thrive.
Considering SSN's aspirations, it's hard to take them seriously. I mean, the Onion couldn't come up with a better parody. When I first visited their website, I thought for sure this was a prank. All of the organizations they've named represent minorities: lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transgender people, African Americans, and Muslims. Each group has been targeted in Tennessee with legislation or court actions that seek to limit their freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, safety in schools, equal opportunity in employment, and the right to vote. 
While I can't speak for other organizations, Tennessee Equality Project is a Southern organization that takes pride in Tennessee. We firmly believe that all residents of Tennessee deserve to be treated equally. Furthermore, TEP members and board members include Christians and White people (but we readily recognize a strong commitment to diversifying in that area). We regularly work with people of all faiths and ethnicity who value the freedoms and responsibilities established by the United States Constitution. 
I think that SSN doth protest too much. If SSN is looking for intolerance and hate in the South, their leaders should look no further than the space between their ears.