So, Representative Matlock, This is Your Idea of Representing “With Integrity”?

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).

The whole thing is appalling and hilarious, but here’s a snippet.

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.


15 thoughts on “So, Representative Matlock, This is Your Idea of Representing “With Integrity”?

  1. Ya know, I distinctly remember hearing the phrase “happy holidays” all the time, used by people of all religions or none, as long as 45 years ago. It was meant, I thought, to indicate a holiday season running from Thanksgiving through New Year, or about six weeks when people were feeling festive for any of a variety of reasons. It puzzles me mightily that, after all this time, a subset of Christians has decided to get all upset and in everybody else’s face about it. Their outrage seems mostly genuine to me, though I suspect that the folks who have whipped it up are fairly cynical about it, but I don’t understand it. Why now, after all this time?

    I am leaving the topic of Rep. Matlock’s bigotry for his own constituents just now; I hope they realize that if they don’t speak out against his ideas they are tacitly supporting them.

  2. Not to nitpick, because you’re likely right in how his bigotry has manifested itself, but someone who is a “transvestite” (major issues with the word) is also a transgendered person. Technically he could actually have been hearing from the TTPC about cross dressers, but I don’t think there have been was major push on any legislation specifically related to them recently.

    So yes. He’s a bigoted fuckwad thrice over.

  3. Ha, you’re giving him more credit that I was. I was assuming he was from the old school in which “transvestite”=cross-dresser=”everyone whose gender expression freaks me out,” but you’re probably right.

    I’ll go strike it out.

  4. That makes about as little sense when I echo it as when he said it. Let me try again:

    If that is the only subject – transvestitism? – which can completely mirror-oppose everything he believes, then all he believes in is dressing according to traditionally-held gender norms. If that’s “all that [he] believe[s]” … he doesn’t believe in much.

  5. Pingback: Transvestites And Our Christian Nation : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  6. There are few things that make me emotional. This does and I can’t even find the words to express how heinous I find that people just can’t love people.

    Saddens me beyond belief.

  7. Eh, I’m not giving him credit so much as saying he may have unintentionally been referencing the right group for the wrong thing. Whatever. He’s a douchewad, just wanting to make sure he gets the scorn he deserves for the correct thing.

  8. The one positive thing about this though, is that it is a clear example of why people are always harping on intersectionality. I don’t normally imagine transphobia and antisemitism going hand in hand, but clearly, they sometimes do.

    When you have guys like Matlock who just feel assailed by all kinds of outside forces that must then be acted against, the people making up those outside forces can be a pretty broad crowd.

    Which is why it behooves all of us, even if we’re not in a particular group having troubles at the moment, to speak out about bullshit. Yes, fine, justice is great. But it’s also in our own self-interest. It’s not such a far step from picking in that guy to picking on you to picking on me.

  9. I liked Matlock better back when he was just a simple country lawyer whose folksy sayings and courtroom antics kept the Greatest Generation glued to their teevee sets.

  10. I am so glad I clicked to read the whole link because I was totally flummoxed by how he got from Hanukkah to transvestites…

  11. I’m going to be perfectly honest: at first glance I thought “Representative Matlock” was some sort of insult. Like “Captain Obvious.”

    Anyway, the Christmas season is December 25 and after. If he feels the need to be specific and only refer to Christian holidays, this is the Advent season – which is actually well complemented/paralleled by Hanukkah (see: lighting of the Advent wreath).

    I mean, if you’re going to correct someone, you should probably get it right yourself.

  12. This is concerning the heat Rep. Matlock is taking for his comments concerning “transvestites” and Christianity. While I am a supporter of Rep. Matlock’s (which you probably don’t want to hear), he is incorrect about this being a Christian nation. This nation was founded by Christian men, on Christian principles, but it was founded as a land of religious freedom. Our freedoms and laws, which have a biblical basis, are meant to give each of us the freedom to make our own choices for our lives (within certain perameters), without fear of being jailed or killed. We are allowed to disagree with one another’s choices, and voice that disagreement, without fear of being jailed or killed. It does not, however, shield us from the disapproval or opposition of others. All Amercans are afforded these rights, including those that represent and govern us. I may not agree with every opinion Rep. Matlock utters, but so far I believe that he has served us in his elected position well. And I will add that, if you are of the mind to see him unseated, you have the right to get out and vote, or even run for the position yourself. Your vote is your voice, ladies and gentlemen. Your post is just whining. And now I’ve added my whining to yours. Have a great day in this beautiful land, and thank God (as you understand Him) that you live in the United States of America, where you don’t have to worry that someone will read your comments and come knock down your door and drag you away to a certain death for having expressed them!

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