Republican Jim Summerville, a first term state senator from Dickson, Tennessee, has joined the chorus line of tone deaf conservatives. It was found that in an official email the senator said he did not care what black people thought, specifically their representatives in the black caucus.
The comments were made by Summerville who was, at the time, heading an investigation by the senate into a possible scandal at Tennessee State University (TSU) allegedly involving students grades being fixed. TSU is a world renowned black university. Therefore it was perfectly reasonable for members of the black caucus to contact Summerville with questions about his investigation.
What was unreasonable, however, was Summerville's conduct in an official setting. It has been locally reported by tennessean.com that Summerville specifically wrote, "I don't give a rat's ass what the black caucus thinks." This message was sent using the subject line of, "Please share this response with your colleagues"
Now many members of the black caucus, and other members -- both republican and democrat -- are calling for Summerville to apologize or resign his post as a public official.
Summerville has been removed as the chairman of the higher education subcommittee, as part of immediate consequences for his behavior. He may be penalized further with censure.
Ultimately the security of the senator's job rests with the voters of Tennessee.