You may recall Representative Jimmy Matlock from his heartfelt plea to stop calling people who just can’t stop talking about states’ rights racist. Or from his website, where he promises to represent with integrity.
So, I’m sure it’s going to come as a shock to you that he seems not to believe in Jews or transvestism (or in googling the difference between transvestite and transgender ed. see discussion in comments) and so must take to the phones to defend this Christian nation against Jewish holidays and “transvestites” (I put it in quotes because he’s calling the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, so I think it’s obvious his beef is with them).
When Dr. Richmond explained that it was the first full day of Hanukkah, Matlock retorted, “This is a Christian Nation! We celebrate the Christmas season, not the holiday season. And I don’t want to hear anything about transvestites. That is against all that I believe.”
Yep, making Tennessee proud.
Listen, it’d be nice if we could just be all “to each his own” about assholery like this, but for two things.
1. Matlock represents all of the people in his district, even the ones that don’t fit his idea of proper citizens of a ‘Christian Nation.’ He doesn’t have to like everyone he represents, but, if he’s going to brag about representing with integrity, he sure as hell needs to find some integrity and learn how to treat even the people he disagrees with or who make him uncomfortable with dignity. Throwing anti-Semetic and transphobic tantrums on the phone isn’t really showing integrity.
2. He’s part of a body that makes laws for the whole state. And, year after year, we see that transgender women in our state are particularly vulnerable to violence and murder (not to imply that transgender men aren’t vulnerable as well, but women continue to be in a crisis situation). Again, he’s not required to like everybody or “approve” of everybody, but everybody in this state should be able to count on him to recognize their basic humanity and to work towards keeping them alive and safe. Calling up a stranger, whose only sin was to wish you Happy Holidays, in order to go off on how “transvestism” goes against everything you believe? It’s not doing a lot of ensure voters state-wide that you can still act with integrity towards marginalized communities.
You want to make laws the govern the whole state, you’ve got to get used to the fact that the whole state encompasses folks who you’re uncomfortable with, and that you’re going to hear from them. Try practicing some of that integrity you’ve been bragging about having, and shape up, Matlock.