Instead of Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis, I was thinking Magniloquence and Stacey Campfield. I hate to do that to Mag, but dang, Campfield needs to be handcuffed to someone who is willing to slap him upside the head every now and again.
Today, Campfield is, I guess, pretending to protect us from The Black Panthers.
The Tennessee General Assembly passed The Rosa Parks act yesterday that would allow folks who had participated in the Civil Rights Movement and been charged with crimes in connection with those activities to have those crimes expunged from their records.
Campfield and five others voted against it.
A lot of talk has been going around about the Rosa Parks act and why I voted against it. Long and short of it is I did not like the expunging of felonies part of it. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and many others advocated for non violent resistance to end the discrimination problem in their time. I support that system as well.
Felony charges in that arena were seldom non violent charges. Half of Memphis was burned when MLK was shot. Homes and businesses of innocent people were robbed and burned. Violent resistance was advocated by some groups like the black panthers. I feel expunging those type crimes and others like it need closer scrutiny then was given in the bill. I had an amendment to remove that part of the bill but it was killed. If the felony part was not in the bill I would have supported it.
But let’s take a look at the wording of the bill, shall we?
All public records of a person who has been charged and convicted with a misdemeanor or felony while protesting or challenging a state law or municipal ordinance whose purpose was to maintain or enforce racial segregation or racial discrimination shall, upon petition by that person to the court having jurisdiction in the previous action, be removed and destroyed without cost to the person.
So, his example of what happened in Memphis when King was assassinated doesn’t even make sense. People who burnt down buildings and rioted weren’t “protesting or challenging a state law or municipal ordinance whose purpose was to maintain or enforce racial segregation or racial discrimination.” They would be ineligible to have their records cleared under this law. So, if Campfield is sincerely not racist, why the hell can’t he find a plausible and applicable scenario under which to object to this law?
But he goes on (warning, may trigger people who have common sense and a knowledge of history):
Yes, I knew how it would look when I voted against this bill. The classic cries of racist would go out. But I know who and what I am (and what I am not). These false attacks do not bother me but they do bother many who fear the impending attacks. I figured all along that was part of the plan of this bill, Some legislators use this type of tactic to pass questionable legislation, to stir up race hatred, to divide us. But I have long believe that a nation divided against itself will not stand. This type of tactic on this issue is one of the worst that is used in politics.
A. Let’s talk about this notion of “stirring up race hatred.” Some white people seem to believe that black and brown people are just contentedly lounging their days away in a bliss of unawareness of injustice until someone shouts out “Hey, that’s racist” and then the heads go up and the herd starts to stampede.
Black and brown people, on the other hand, will gladly tell you that as much as they might not want to think about race and racial inequality all the damn time, it is virtually inescapable for them. Mag again: “If you doubt that the nature of abuse and harassment people of color suffer, online or off, differs from that white people experience, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. Oddly, the Internets offer a way for you to verify this fact for yourself.” And as Mag so brilliantly notes, when you claim that you are being dispassionate, you rarely are–“It is, in fact, taking a side. And the people on the side you’re taking, incidentally, include the bigots, the minutemen, and the invective-slinging racist fuckers.”
In other words, accusing “folks” (i.e. liberal whites and black leaders) of stirring up racial hatred is itself based on the racist premise that, if there weren’t outside smart folks telling black people they were being oppressed, most black people would be too stupid to notice.
Which leads us to B., Campfield’s implication that this legislation is not about healing the wounds of the past, but about fraudulently causing some state legislators to have to vote in a way that would make them seem racist. Y’all, just dwell on that. Campfield seems to be saying–“I figured all along that was part of the plan of this bill, Some legislators use this type of tactic to pass questionable legislation, to stir up race hatred, to divide us.”–that part of the plan of this bill is to make him look racist if he opposes it. Boy howdy, talk about your conspiracy theories.
And C., it doesn’t matter how “But I know who and what I am (and what I am not).” you believe yourself to be, if you keep hearing from folks that you’re racist, guess what? You’re racist. It doesn’t really matter what’s in your heart, if you go around living your life in such a way as to continually make life difficult for people of color, you are a racist.
Perhaps we don’t need to handcuff Mag to Campfield. Maybe putting her in a room with him and just letting her laugh at him long and hard would be enough.
From a legal standpoint, I think that law would be better written if it said that,
All public records of a person … MAY, upon petition by that person to the court…be removed and destroyed without cost to the person.
May and Shall are not trivial in the eyes of the law. I think that would allow the court to treat it on a case by case basis, rather than be forced into forgetting about felonies.
Once again, your definition of racism is lacking, but we all know that’s a sticking point with me.
*snickers* All things considered, Campfield would probably be a hoot. At least he isn’t even pretending to like me.
We could handcuff him to a chair, and make him listen to me come up with posts on his proposed legislation. As Breviloquence can tell you, I think by talking… he’d get hours of fun while I ranted about people and stupid ideas and dashed off to the next room to find a book and read chunks of it out loud to him so I can pick the most damaging bits, and then pondered out loud just how to phrase this sentence so it would best be understood without pissing too many people off … and then watching me paint my nails, because I have the attention span of a goldfish. *grins* That’d be amusing.
But yes, it’s an incredibly dumb idea. “Woe is me, this vast conspiracy wants me to look racist! But I am a man of principle, so I don’t care, and you can’t make me, so nyah.“
Hmm, regarding “may” and “shall,” I think that’s a fair point… but I also think it’s covered in the “petition by that person to the court having jurisdiction in the previous action,” bit. They have to go back to the people that charged them and successfully argue that what they were doing was “protesting or challenging a state law or municipal ordinance whose purpose was to maintain or enforce racial segregation or racial discrimination,” and not rioting, looting or burning shit up for fun. It’s not a blanket ‘ask and ye shall recieve,’ it’s a ‘prove to us that this is what you were doing, and do it before the court that heard you the first time (and thus has the most relevant information on the issue), and then we’ll get rid of it if we were wrong.’
His name is Stacey? If he’s a Republican he should get that name changed, because it makes him sound like a pussy.
This was incredibly stupid. What was he thinking?
This is why you never vote for pure idealogues – they don’t know how to pick their battles.
Campfield needs to be handcuffed to someone who is willing to slap him upside the head every now and again.
ME! ME! ME!
This is not the first time a State Legislator has exhibited a failure with basic reading comprehension regarding a proposed bill. That scares me.
And as much as I loathe the idea of a representative body being comprised entirely of lawyers, this is one of those times when it would have come in handy. Because any lawyer…and some competent laypeople…would understand the pure ridiculousness of Campfield’s scenario in light of the language of the bill.
Most of us aren’t lawyers. We all got it with very little trouble. You just need to possess enough intelligence to read critically. If he does not possess the requisite intellect, he should step down. If he is smart enough to read critically, then this little song and dance about pardoning Memphis arsonists is a post-vote lame justification. So he’s either stupid or he thinks his constituents and critics are stupid.
Incidentally, how many felons were actually convicted of arson or rioting after the Memphis Riots of 1968? Are we talking 5? 25? And now, forty years later with their time long-ago served, how many of these men and women are still alive? I am guessing that this is a bogus issue, but I’m not where I can do the research to find out.
*grins* I would totally pay to see someone handcuff Kat to Campfield. That would be gold.
Handcuffed or not, you’d still have to reach past Oatney to get to Campfield, since he mostly acts like human kevlar for our dubious State rep.
“And as much as I loathe the idea of a representative body being comprised entirely of lawyers, this is one of those times when it would have come in handy. Because any lawyer…and some competent laypeople…would understand the pure ridiculousness of Campfield’s scenario in light of the language of the bill.”
Doesn’t necessarily mean it was wrong to vote against the bill just that he cited a poor example, yeah?
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Adam, I’d expect him to have a damn good argument ready to hand when he cast what he knew (or should have known) would be a touchy vote. He should be be able to articulate clearly and persuasively why he opposed the measure, to demonstrate he wasn’t simply pulling things out of his ass. That’s what politicians are supposed to be able to do. If he can’t do that, or if he is motivated by something other than the example that he chose to highlight, don’t you find that curious at best and incompetent at worst? Makes you wonder why he might choose that particular example if he’s as smart and ambitious as you all seem to think he is.
poor bridgett, she’s never had the pleasure of working in our great Tennessee state legislature. He can’t do that (articulate clearly etc) and he isn’t the only one. It’s what happens when you have a part time legislature. You get either the ladder climbers like Purcell, Herron etc who are smarter than the room, or you get people who think it would be a hoot to be a legislator and get all the free fried chicken fingers they might ever want to eat. Excuse the generalization.
The provision in the bill that requires the petitioner to return to the court of original jurisdiction doesn’t allow for any judicial judgment, there’s no mention of there being any kind of appeals process or other procedural matter than the petitioner would have to follow other than a file an affidavit. It’s my understanding of the bill that the burden lies with the state to prove that the acts were NOT committed in furtherance of political protest. I’m sure the lack of judicial oversight galls some, however, it’s hardly necessary in these cases, most of which, contrary to Camp’s statements, were not violent, but were kids getting knocked in the head then carried off to jail for resisting arrest.
Part-time needn’t mean half-ass. I know this is a little off-topic, but why do Tennesseeans settle for representatives who just aren’t up to the job? Is the pay that bad?
Most people in this state consider government useless at best, so useless is what gets elected.
Hmm. I don’t really mind that the state bears the burden of proof. I think that if anyone would have access to the materials necessary for that burden (and the relative familiarity with the person’s case to see if it’s worth the resource expenditure to actually prove it), it would be the state. Having a person bear the burden of proof, especially given the age of the allegations and the fact that any evidence should have been in the posession of the courts anyway, would be … counter to the spirit of the law, among other things. (The state expends a similar, if not exactly the same, amount of effort verifying the person’s affirmative proof… and if they wanted to reject it, in order to have some basis, they’d need to gather and present evidence anyway.)
I’m not a lawyer and have to run anyway… but that’s the general shape of my argument.