Senator blasts 'racist' remarks from TSU president
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A state senator is not backing down after saying the president of Tennessee State University made "racist" remarks during a banquet speech.
School President Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover spoke at an event hosted by the NAACP in Dickson Monday night. Her talk focused on education and democracy.
But State Sen. Jim Summerville, R-Dickson, said he walked out when Glover began talking about why people criticize President Barack Obama.
"We're dealing with a selfish government and a cruel electorate," Glover told the audience, according to a report in The Tennesseean.
"One that's not only yelling disrespect for our nation's president, but has shown its downright disregard, disrespect and absolute disdain for our president, and has made his skin color the No. 1 judging criteria," she said.
Summerville said the comments were hurtful to him and others in the room.
"Dr. Glover disparaged my constituents and the people of Tennessee by telling us we cannot disagree with the president of the United States. And if we do, we're racist. We're criticizing him because he's black," he said Wednesday
"She doesn't dispute the quote and that's intolerable. She has the right to say what she wants but that's bigoted," Summerville said.
Summerville said Glover has called him and he invited her to come to the office to discuss the issue.
TSU released a statement from Glover Wednesday afternoon.
"I am disappointed that Sen. Summerville misinterpreted the context of my comments. This goes to show how difficult it is to discuss race in America," Glover wrote.
"What's even more tragic is that Sen. Summerville, having authored a book, Educating Black Doctors: A History of MeHarry Medical College, understands the substance of my entire speech," she said.
Summerville said he might write to the Tennessee Board of Regents to recommend that Glover receive "diversity training."
"She's paid big bucks by the taxpayers of Tennessee to call us racist," he said.
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