Friday, April 06, 2012

Human Relations Budget Hearing. An agency that should be abolished.

Watch the video
Summary of the Human Relations Budget hearings

Caroline Blackwell, the Executive Director makes the presentation. A 2% reduction in the budget would negatively impact the agency. The agency would be less able to fund guest speakers for the proposed Student Human Relations Summit and would otherwise impact the agencies outreach effort. 

My View

Most people have probably never heard of the Metro Human Relations Commission. They are a relatively small agency with a  budget of $234,100 and a staff of three.  To learn more about the agency visit their website

Below is a description of their function:
The Metro Human Relations Commission protects and promotes the dignity of all people through a menu of services that help ensure safety, health, security, peace and general welfare in Davidson County. Committed to community education and advocacy for diversity—and for the cultural awareness, understanding, and behaviors needed to foster inclusion—the Commission assists individuals and organizations in understanding and defending their civil and human rights.

The MHRC core services include educational resources that promote effective intergroup relations, diversity training, dialogue, study circles and other group facilitation models, Title VI training and compliance support, data collection, intake and timely processing of discrimination inquiries and complaints, community forums, ADR and community problem-solving, policy recommendations, public hearings and Commission reports.

This agency could better be named The Agency for Political Correctness and Indoctrination.  It is not that I do not share some of the objectives of the agency. I am opposed to hate and bullying and I want Nashville to be a welcoming community that appreciates our cultural diversity and I am a pretty tolerant guy. I do not, however, think that an agency of government should be devoted to the functions of this agency. All of the functions of this agency could either be done by existing government agencies such as Fair Housing, the Attorney General's Office, and law enforcement or by private liberal advocacy agencies such as the Scarritt Bennett Center, the First Amendment Center, The Peace and Justice Center, The Neighborhood Resource Center, The NAACP or any of a number of other advocacy groups.

Back in the 80's when I was serving in the Metro Council during a particularly tight budget year, the Council defunded the agency, essentially closing it down for a year, or maybe two. The Commission still existed but had no staff and could not do much. I was instrumental in helping that to occur. It is one of my proudest accomplishments of my service in the Council. I was aided in this effort by the fact that we had a particularly outspoken director of the agency at the time who had had the agency participate in Gay Rights events and who had written a letter on Metro Human Relations letterhead opposing the war in Nicaragua where the US was supporting the anti-Communist freedom fighters know as the Contras.  The director at that time had been able to offend quite a few people by his promotion of a very left-wing agenda.

Metro Government should not be in the business of progressive indoctrination and community organizing.  Rather than raise taxes one cent, this agency should be abolished.

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