State Sen. Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) has been removed from the chairmanship of a state education committee for an email remark to a black legislator.
He told state Rep. Barbara Cooper, “I don’t give a rat’s ass what the black caucus thinks.”
Chip Forrester, chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, said, “The level of disrespect Jim Summerville has shown to our black leaders is wholly unacceptable. He should apologize immediately to the Black Caucus and to his constituents for his contemptible behavior which is unbecoming of the public office he holds. We’ll never make progress on attracting good-paying jobs and addressing the important problems facing our state if our legislators can’t work together in a respectful and civil manner.
“Sadly the Tea Party extremists, like Jim Summerville, who have taken over state government do not concern themselves with cooperation. In fact, it appears they are proud of the divisive and intolerant political culture they have created. I would hope Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey would forcefully and unequivocally rebuke these insensitive and inappropriate comments.”