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Thursday, September 22, 2005

The black caucus and me

Fox News has called me for a possible national feature interview on a story that ran

I woke up this morning to front-page news of how I had asked for the
bylaws of a state funded organization and was denied them. Actually,
it's an old story.

Back in the spring, I had asked the leader of the black caucus, Johnny
Shaw, for a copy of the bylaws. Johnny said he wanted to see a copy of
the Republican Caucus bylaws first. I agreed and had a copy sent to
him in less than 10 minutes.

When my assistant returned from dropping them off, she notified me that
Shaw did not want to give me a copy of the bylaws. I called Johnny
Shaw back and he said unless I had a court order or attorney general's
opinion, he was not going to give me anything.

I later asked him again for a copy and was again rebuffed. I asked why
I couldn't have a copy and asked what he didn't want me to see. Johnny
said he didn't have to give me anything and asked why I wanted the
copy. “Do you want to be a member?” he said.

I said “I don't know. Are you asking me to join?” Johnny said “No!
You can't be a member.”

I asked “why?” He answered “because you are white.”

I work hard to represent all people of all races fairly and equally in
Nashville. My district is comprised of a diverse population, with a
large percentage of minority citizens. Many of my friends and neighbors
are considered minority. So although Johnny Shaw's question of asking
if I wanted to be a member was not out of the question, and actually
might be beneficial to many of my constituents, I stepped back and
dropped the issue because of his hostility and obstruction.

Until today of course, when I open the Knoxville News Sentinel many
months later to read the account from many months ago.

The timing is quite interesting since about a week ago on this site I
posted a story about how Johnny Shaw (who is serving on the ethics
committee) was pushing a bill through the legislature that would personally
and directly benefit him financially in his radio business.

I guess Shaw didn't like the message, so he tried to shoot the
messenger. In other words, he didn't like that I pointed out his questionable
ethics regarding the radio bill.


  1. You are putting the cart before the horse, Stacey. Stay out in the sun until you are a person of color and then reapply.

    Also, does the Legislature have a Space Alien Caucus? If not, I would like to submit the names of some potential members and get that club going.

  2. Here is the opinion piece from Johnny's home newspaper, The Jackson Sun, calling Johnny on the carpet for this obstruction.
    Somehow, you got this very liberal newspaper to side with a Republican. Good job, Stacey!

  3. It never ends with that bunch up there. I have had it with this state. When is it going to be cleaned up? What if an african-american were told he was unable to join the democratic or republican party because he were black? You would have a serious problem at all levels. People want to yell racial discrimination but only when it benifits them. This story warrants a federal investigation. I bet you it would be done if the roles were reversed!!

  4. Stacy,
    Are they operating as the Tenn. Black Caucus of State Legislators, Inc.?

    If so, then according to the Sec. of State website, the Tenn. Black Caucus of State Legislators, Inc. has been inactive since 1985 because of Certificate of Administrative Revocation by the state.

    If they are continuing to operate as TBCSL, Inc. they are doing so illegally as an unregistered corporation.

    Maybe this is why they have no bylaws.

  5. The Associated Press story about Campfield and the Tennessee Black Caucus says, "Another provision [of the Black Caucus's bylaws] says that 'honorary membership' can be granted to 'those persons whose belief and actions contribute to the purpose for which this caucus was formed,' '' so I'm wondering who has honorary membership. If a rep or senator does not have membership or honorary membership, does that mean the Black Caucus believes that person does not care about the black community, or just what?

    I also wonder if state Rep. Ulysses Jones gets more than one vote in the Black Caucus, the way he apparently has more than one vote in the important committees he chairs that so often kill sensible, logical legislation, including legislation that would safeguard the rights, privileges, tax monies, and jobs of U.S. citizens in Tennessee, and the concept of citizenship itself. I wonder this because Rep. Jones so often appears to represent and cater to foreign interests over those of the actual U.S. citizens he has been elected to represent. But he isn't the only one. Keep an eye on this during the next session as many Tennesseans attempt, once again, to demagnetize their state to illegal aliens.

    Donna Locke
    Tennesseans for Immigration Control and Reform

  6. It's about time the roles were reversed. I think you have a lawsuit here! I agree with "fed up". I hope you follow this issue through to the end. If you do not, then NOTHING will be done to point out this REVERSE DISCRIMINATION....and it will be same 'ole same 'ole again.

  7. Stacey, I just wanted you to know that the "tn guerrilla women" blog has just posted a rather malicious diatribe against you and when I simply pointed out that the uber-leftist who runs the site had absolutely distorted the facts of the matter, not only was my comment removed, but I was banned from the site!
    Unfortunately, this is what passes for "thinking" in the mind of an ultra leftist (and in this case, I'm talking soooooo far left, this woman has to turn right to see Karl Marx).

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing you soon at KBJJ.
    Take care, my friend, and always remember to simply present the facts to the moral relativists among us and get out of the way and let the truth do its thing!

  8. To join a group that represents minorities, shouldn't you be a minority in need of the representation? Don't you have more important things to do as you represent, I'm assuming, Knox County for the state government than forcing situations that you can call "reverse discrimination"? (ahem, like the health care needs of those kicked from the TennCare rolls?) Can you provide the racial breakdown of the leadership of the state government? What valuable things do you do for your diverse constituents, anyway? I'm not accusing you of harming them; I'm just surprised that you would spend time on something like this.

    Until then I will be playing the tiniest violin in the world in an eternal lament for the besieged center of hegemonic power, for you, "smeesa," and "fed up." It must be hard to be a privileged white man in power.

  9. Oh my. Looks like a nerve got struck! Ariadne my friend, it is people like YOU who keep this nation divided racially. Enough is never enough. Our lawmakers are there to work for everyone equally. Why are you a minority? Because you choose to be! Quit hiding behind a mere word and be productive for society as a whole, not just for "your people". We are all equal. Get out of the stone ages. But then agian, that wouldn't make you happy either. By the way, african-american leaders cry for equality when in front of a TV camera, and you are fighting against it. MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!! And I don't need you to play that violin for me, unlike some I can play it myself.

  10. Well, aren't you testy for someone who claims me as a friend? I'm white (and work for a state institution known for being one of the whitest of its kind), but thanks for the advice anyway. And if all men (and women) were indeed treated equally, we wouldn't need to have programs like affirmative action or black caucuses. But because of institutionalized racism, which I witness on a daily basis, we need them.

  11. Why do you want to join the black caucus? What possible good can it do you? Have you got nothing better to do on the government tab? No housing, unemployment, business interests you could possibly be working for in your constituency? Nice to see you're working diligently for your constituents. Perhaps just accept that since you're not black but are such a good friend of blacks, you can work alongside them for their ends. Otherwise, this is just a big promotional stunt by an ignorant, insensitive oaf.

  12. This has got to be the stupidest thing that I've ever heard of.

    Which, I guess, means that Bush has already minted a medal of honor for Stacey.

  13. My point has been made. The racial divide is strong and holding and look who is blocking the path. But why? Because we have a group who wants equality when it benefits them, and seclution when it benefits them. I am a democrat who has come to respect Rep. Campfeild greatly. He does what is right, not popular. He reminds me of myself. There is not a minority I wouldn't help. They are people as I. But would they help me? Sometimes I wonder. For Stacey to be denied membership is sad. After all, I thought minorities want to be equal . What would be said if he denied a minority representaion based on race? NO I WON'T HELP YOU, YOU ARE BLACK! Hold on tight! Washington would be all over that. Maybe wants to join to break the barrier and bring harmony for all people of the state, more than some have done. Instead he is labled a trouble maker. I do not understand people. Keep it up Stacey, don't let anyone discourage you. And yes liberal, Dr. King would be thrilled with Stacey, but not with you!

  14. I am amazed at how you guys dont "get" it. Do you not see that the reason a "black caucus" exists is because of the history of discrimination and lack of representation of blacks for so long- up till and including today?

    There is not a "white caucus" because one has never been needed- it would be redundant. The cries of "reverse discrimination" in every instance like this are tiresome. Is there such a thing as reverse discrimination? Of course, but having a black caucus is not such a case- it is not the same, as the person above tried to imply, as not allowing a black person in the democratic or republican party. And that should be obvious.

    But Stacey, I am interested in your motives for asking for the bylaws- did you really want to join the black caucus and if so, why? Seems to me you just simply wanted some publicity and to have an opportunity to try to create a situation where you can play the role of the poor, oppressed white man.

  15. Question- all you folks who are just *outraged* at this monumental injustice against Stacey- do you get this outraged against other forms of discrimination, or just when white folks like us dont get to join groups like the black caucus? Have you made a priority of working with the black caucus on issues important to them?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    In that case, you seem pretty insincere.

  16. If you wish to comment on this topic, pro or con , please do .I welcome all opinions that is what this site is for .If you use bad language or just wish to personally attack me, get your own site and post on it, or expect to be removed from this one.I do not want to be a blogger who only allows comments that agree with me so keep it clean and on topic.

  17. But your white, not Black, so therefore you do not belong in the Black Caucaus. But I am sure there are many other Liberal organizations that would welcome a "genuine" conversion.

  18. This is the sickest garbage I have heard for a while. The caucus represent blacks, and your looks of it, you are not black. American Jews have theirs, how about having black members joining that group? Hispanic Americans have theirs. No wait, I get it, yes I get it, it's about what many people have done lately, public stunt, in it's most disgraceful way.

  19. Stacey, if you added this site to your blogroll and support his views, then perhaps you can understand why the Black Caucus finds you insincere. The statements about blacks are ignorant and racist.


  20. You people are living under a rock. This just might be the wind that blows me into the republican party. There should be NO caucus, other than the TN caucus. Maybe at one time the was a need for these type of dividers. Things like this are used as a crutch. I do not know Stacey Campfield or what type of person he is. But, as far as the publicity stunt, if that were the case I imagine he could have come up with a less contoversial method. He appears to be taking a step to break to divide. If this were another subject, minorities would be screaming they can't mix. As I said, make up your mind. Don't integrate when convienient. You have all made a big fool out of yourselves by showing off your intelligence. One side of your mouth says one thing when convienient and the other side when it don't suit you. You people make me sick. Never satisfied. And yes MS. Stacy, it is the same. There is no difference. You are
    just making justification to fit your need. If the roles were reversed you would scream and you know it, you are not fooling anyone. Now I am interested in the above posters reference to the the revoked registration. May be worth looking into. As for the by-law request, Mr. Shaw wanted a copy of the republican by-laws, AND GOT IT! No questions asked. Again a double sided coin. Yell when it benefits me!!!!

  21. Excluding others causes resentment, hostility, and a slew of other instinctive emotions.

    Fostering, on the other hand, inclusivity will go a long way towards our ideal of true equality.

    We'll never be able to move past our racial differences until we abandon their role as an excuse for our actions.

  22. So does this mean you've hired Ann Coulter or a former member of her staff as your political advisor, Stacey? Criticising the Black Caucus for not wanting an illiterate redneck as a member is like saying Israel should be ashamed for not reaching out to any Nazi groups. Whatever the true content of your heart, and a publicity stunt like this makes it difficult to think your heart is anything but a black hole, maybe, just maybe, you can try talking to those black constituents of yours and let them explain why they might not feel the southern christian white man will be their savior. I'm not black, but I can start to give you an answer. It involves the last 500 years or so of american, and african, history.

  23. If I wanted a PR stunt I would have brought this up months ago.I did not then and I did not bring it up when it came out in the paper (read my post, as well as the reporters account at bill Hobbs site) I will not run from the issue now that it is here.

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. TN Sad, we welcome you into our Grand Old Party. We have a long history of taking in proud white conservatives who've been left behind by the Democrats. Good men like Strom and other Dixiecrats became great Republican Leaders after the liberal wing of Democratic alienated them by killing Jim Crow.

    I'm surprised that it's taken you this long to see the light. We began pursuing our Southern Strategy in 1972. You've had over 30 years to follow your more racially-minded conservative Democrat peers in making the switch.

    Please do it now. The Democrats don't want you, and we need you to help us suppress the black vote in 2006.

    Heterosexually yours,

  26. "Many of my friends and neighbors
    are considered minority." Wow, that is impressive. What doesn't everyone realize the with a credential like that, you are obviously beyond reproach.

    I commend you for your moral courage, to stand up and let everyone know that you have some friends who are non-white, and you continue to live in a place where some non-white neighbors reside. That's great.

    I can see the campaign poster now.


  27. If you depend on The Tennessean for your state legislative coverage, you miss a lot of stuff -- such as the unethical stunts pulled in committee and elsewhere in lawmaking by the Democratic majority in the Tennessee Legislature. Democrats control the committees, and all legislation must be passed out of committee in order to go to full vote and become law. A lot of good legislation dies in committee through a variety of tricks and questionable maneuvers.

    The Black Caucus is a significant part of the Democratic control in our Legislature -- as a voting bloc and as committee chairpersons -- and should not go unexamined.

    Rep. Campfield has used his blog to present information to the public about a number of things, including some conduct by our lawmakers that is a disservice to Tennesseans -- conduct rarely reported by the mainstream media. Campfield has reported behavior unbecoming to both Democrats and Republicans, though most of it was Democratic conduct.

    Yes, Republican lawmakers deserve equal examination. They are not without flaw. Rep. Campfield is a Republican. He's partisan. He will dance with the ones that brung him. But he has shown some welcome independence, which is good for the public unless you prefer automatons.

    As a young freshman legislator, Campfield took a fresh, fairly objective look at lawmaking and reported some things he felt the public should know. With this blog, he has gone where no state legislator has gone before and bucked the Establishment. He has been rewarded by being called an oddball and worse. I guess anyone who threatens the status quo will be called an oddball and/or shot dead.

    I'm not a Republican or Democrat. I agree with each party on some issues, disagree vehemently on others, and tend to take a more moderate approach to some issues. I await the third and fourth major parties that will surely arise in response to the many Americans like me.

    I don't care if we have a Black Caucus, a Women's Caucus, or an Oddball Caucus. They may be needed. One wonders, however, how all these separate huddles can make much of a team as they strategize against one another. The point is, these groups of legislators exist and meet on our dime, supposedly in our service, not their own. They should not escape public scrutiny. The light should shine everywhere, equally.

  28. TheRep,

    Is there any compelling reason why you should not be admitted to the Black Caucus?

    Is such a group not taxpayer funded?

    Is there not one black constituant in your district?

    From a logical point of view, I truly fail to see any compelling reason that should exclude you from such a group.

    Unless I was racist, then I would say the same thing as Shaw. But to me, race isn't a good enough reason to keep someone out of a group. Especially when biological research shows that all humans are part of the same race.

    I wish you luck on this one. I despise hypocrites, no matter their party or positions.

  29. "And if all men (and women) were indeed treated equally, we wouldn't need to have programs like affirmative action or black caucuses. But because of institutionalized racism, which I witness on a daily basis, we need them."

    Funny thing is, we have a group of people who actually WANT to treat people equally. Now that this is the case, the people who were "oppressed" claim, "You can't just make up for years of oppression overnight."

    I'm sorry, but it sounds childish. Do you want equality or do you want to play the victim? If a group is offering REAL equality, TAKE IT! Don't just whine about "the racism is institutionalized" because the only people perpetuating that racism are the ones who benefit from their status of victimhood.

    How can any group alive today logically profit from the oppression of their ancestors? I am part Comanche, does that mean that I should be able to reclaim 3/4ths of Texas for myself? Of course not, because I never owned that land, my ancestors did, and now they're dead, so it belongs to the current owners today.

    Yes slavery was wrong, yes discrimination was wrong. But in 2005 we are attempting to work towards REAL equality, and there remains these groups that demand they benefit when another group suffers.

    Let's think logically here, why can we not simply hire someone based on their skills and abilities and not give preference based on their skin color? Ultimately, private entities can hire and fire whomever they choose, and likewise, customers are free to patronize those establishments as they see fit.

    For example, were I black and I knew of a business that excluded discriminated against minority employees (Ambercrombie and Fitch comes to mind), I would refuse to shop in their stores.

    However, government does not have that same freedom. The tax money comes from ALL people of all backgrounds. So if there is a white congressman who wants to join a black caucus, there is no realistic or compelling reason he should be prevented from doing so.

  30. Mr. Campfield:
    I believe you are onto something here and wish to encourage you as much as possible. However, I would like to see you carry the fight to an even broader scale.

    There are many organizations that claim to be working towards an ultimate end to all types of inequality yet refuse to practice inclusiveness themselves. Should you gain entry to these groups it could spawn a massive sense of fraternization truly putting an end to all discrimination.

    Looking at Women’s Policy, I notice the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues is made up entirely and exclusively of Women. We need to change that! Ironically the Children’s Caucus has no children members that I am aware of (victory indeed).

    Aside from the congressional cliques, this country has yielded to all sorts of circumscribed societies where membership consists of private individuals selected for specifics while alienating others. Do the Log Cabin Republicans have an open door policy that would permit entry by heterosexuals? If not, how can they expect others to ‘open their minds’ if they refuse to do a little opening themselves. Personally I think more of these homosexual groups should find themselves penetrated by healthy heteros like yourself. It would loosen them up, make them less biased against those of us the good Lord chose to make straight.

    This could be a crusade of sorts – not the Christian killing brown-people kind, I should have said movement. Pretty soon we could rid this country of all its doors. Imagine: a woman in the NFL, a man in NOW, a practicing carnivore in PETA, a vagrant in your favorite social club. Keep up the fight.


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