(NASHVILLE), January 10, 2013 – State Senator Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) said today he plans to move forward with legislation filed in the State Senate to ban preferential treatment based on race, gender or ethnicity. Summerville has filed several bills which he said makes up the “Civil Rights Initiative of 2013” for consideration in the Tennessee General Assembly.
"Certainly we all need to strive towards the goal of protecting citizens from discrimination,” said Senator Summerville. "But, at the same time that goal is hard to achieve if preferential treatment is part of our state’s public policy. If we hire, promote or give preferential treatment by race, gender or ethnicity, we will continue to divide by race, gender or ethnicity. In the coming months, I will ask my good colleagues of both houses and both parties to fight and win the last battle of the civil rights movement.”
The bills filed would provide that state government will not give preferential treatment based on gender, race, or ethnicity, except where required by federal law; abolish such group preferences from Tennessee’s public colleges and universities; abolish the job categories of “diversity officers;” eliminate race, gender, or ethnicity as considerations for hiring K-12 teachers; and prohibit any and all entities of State government from compiling and keeping statistics, or other data by race, gender, and ethnicity.
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hoped to live to see an America where his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” Summerville added. “I think he’d be sad if he were among us today to see that this generation has failed in that hope. We can honor his memory by taking steps like California and Michigan have done. Tennessee, where Dr. King died, can become the first state in the South to realize his vision into law.”
“Although it took longer than it should have, our nation has opened the door of opportunity for all. Only character, intelligence, and hard work matter now,” he concluded.
Senator Jim Summerville
R - Dickson
Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, Humphreys, and Robertson Counties
208 McCreary Heights
Dickson, TN 37055-1217
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 302 War Memorial Bldg.
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone (615) 741-4499
- Born October 27, 1947, Dickson, Tennessee
- University of Tennessee, B.A., political science, 1969
- University of Iowa, M.A., English literature, 1972
- Vanderbilt University, M.A., American history, 1983
- Adjunct instructor, Department of Languages and Literature, Austin Peay State University
- Author, Educating Black Doctors; A History of Meharry Medical College (Alabama, 1983); The Carmack-Cooper Shooting; Tennessee Politics Turns Violent (McFarland, 1994); Southern Epic; Nashville Through 200 Years (Hallmark, 1996); Nashville Medicine; A History (Association Publishing, 1999)
- Contributor to American National Biography (Oxford 1999), Encyclopedia of Local History (Altamira 2000), and Historical Dictionary of the Gilded Age (M.E. Sharpe, 2003)
- Senate member 107th General Assembly
- Member, Senate Government Operations Committee
- Member, Senate Education Committee
- Member, Energy and Environment Committee
- 1989—1999: Lead volunteer for the restoration of the Battle of Nashville Monument, which was rededicated in June 1999. The project received the top national award from Save Outdoor Sculpture, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
- Founder, 1998, the Theodore Association Police Award for Nashville and Middle Tennessee. This honor goes each year to a midstate officer who has performed outstanding and praiseworthy service to his or her department despite a serious handicap, illness, or injury.
- Former Member: Boards of the Dickson County Higher Education, Foundation, the Dickson County Help Center, and the Kiwanis Club of Dickson County