Tom Negri, the former managing director of the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, has been named interim director of the Metro Human Relations Commission. You may have heard of Tom Negir before.
Back in 2009 when Mr. Negri was the manger of Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, he rented meeting space to Act For America for a conference. The venue had been rented months in advance, then on the day before the conference, Mr. Negri cancelled the organizations contract because they were going to have as their keynote speaker Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders.
Negri claimed he was cancelling the contract out of concern for the "health, safety and well-being" of the hotel's guests and employees. This is the way leftist think about dialogue, diversity, and freedom of speech. They are only in favor of political participation and freedom of speech and diversity from those with whom they agree. I blogged about this incident at the time. To read that blog post and learn more about the incident, follow this link.
Metro's Human Relation Commission has long been a hot bed of taxpayer funded left wing activism. Back during the eighties we had a Director, Fred Cloud, who took part in demonstrations opposing America's support of the anti-communist Contra freedom fighters. He used his office to organize the anti-Contra demonstration as well as other liberal and left wing causes. At that time, during a tight budget year, we were successful in defunding the MHRC. I was in the Council at that time and was part of that effort. For about five years we did not have the MHRC, until it was revised by Mayor Phil Bredesen.
In 2008, the MHRC actively opposed the proposed English First charter amendment. While I did not support that effort either, I do not think it appropriate that an agency of government get involved fighting a proposed charter amendment. Private organizations can promote the cause or oppose it but our tax dollars should not be used to influence pubic opinion on a referendum.
One of the things the MHRC does every year is sponsor a youth pavilion at Nashville Gay Pride Festival. They have long been involved in pro-gay activism. The outgoing Executive Director Caroline Blackwell is quoted in the gay publication Out and About saying, the Commission believes "the quest for equal rights for LGBTQ people is a fundamental human rights issue, and one that warrants the full attention of the Commission, Nashville and the nation." In recent years a growing number of "GLBT" activist have been appointed to serve on the Commission.
There are a few things the Commission does that are not objectionable but these are things that could be done by other agencies or private organizations. The MHRC serves no purpose except to promote political correctness and a left wing agenda with your tax dollars. To see some of what they do, follow the MHRC on Facebook or visit their website. Given the history of the MHRC, Mr. Negir will be right at home.
The MHRC should be abolished.