Just between us white men:
“Why don't we go back to the Constitution when the only voters were white male property owners?”
That was the question posed by County Commissioner Fred Skillern, to local progressive activist and Democratic Party volunteer Phil Phillips in the elevator of the Hamilton County Courthouse after a vote by the Hamilton County Commission on whether or not to support a resolution calling for the Hamilton County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly to repeal the “Voter ID Law”.
The “Voter ID Law,” passed last year by the GOP dominated General Assembly, was blatantly created for the sole purpose of suppressing voter turnout by creating completely unnecessary barriers between the poor, the elderly, minorities and college students (how do those demographics usually vote?) on the one hand and the ballot box on the other.
The resolution calling on
’s Delegates to repeal this law failed 7 – 2, the two supporting votes coming from Commissioners of color who represent districts with high numbers of minorities. Hamilton County
Skillern’s comments should not come as a surprise. This is the Commissioner who blazenly referred to his fellow Commissioners as “Niggers” in front of a reporter. And his feelings about “white male property owners” align perfectly with the very people who voted to pass the law in Nashville, like Hamilton County’s District 27 Representative Richard Floyd who said that his constituents need to realize that voting is NOT a right, but a “privilege”.
This cannot be overstated: what we are seeing is the rise of the corporate domination of our state legislature, protected by bigoted, reactionary forces at the local level.
began with an invocation made in the name of “Jesus the Christ” and the recognition of the importance of Christmas as the time that God came “in the form of man [sic]”. (Remember, this is the Hamilton County Commission that, after 9/11, voted to place a plaque of the Ten Commandments in the Hamilton County Courthouse – the Commission was subsequently sued and the plaque wasremoved) County Commission
The actual vote:
Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair Paul Smith addresses the Commission:
activist Frank Eaton addresses the Commission: Chattanooga
Phil Phillips addresses the Commission: