Emailed messages shared from House Speaker Glen Casada’s chief of staff has exposed Cade Cothren as a possible racist.
A number of leaked screenshots reveal messages sent by Cothren capture the Chief of Staff saying, “Black people are idiots.” In one screenshot, Cothren also used a meme featuring an image from Quentin Tarantino’s slave-era film “Django Unchained,” to refer to an entire district of West Tennesseans.
There are times when a person’s potential racial bias remains questionable, and difficult to prove. In these cases, an accuser must work to establish a burden of proof to demonstrate without a doubt that an individual has inherent racist tendencies, habits, or biases. And then there are cases such as this one, in which Cothran has voluntarily implicated himself as an out-of-the-closet racist by proclaiming that Black people are idiots and referring to one as a “thug nigger.”
If Cothren wished to keep his racist ideology a secret from the upwards of one million African Americans in Tennessee, he should have thought twice before publicizing his thoughts in a group-text message in the age of screenshots and ultra-shareable content.
Now, Cothren is making headlines across various news sites and social media platforms for all the wrong reasons.
Casada’s silence in regards to his Chief of Staff’s racist comments is even more concerning. As an official who was elected to advocate for and protect the rights of all Tennesseans regardless of color, Casada’s silence says a lot about the values of the state legislature.
Speaking of values, Tennessee has made its loyalties and allegiances clear over the past several months–and it hasn’t been in the best interests of the state’s African American citizens. The Equality Alliance has reported that Tennessee ranks 50th out all states for voter representation.
As a response to an initiative purposed with bolstering voter participation among minorities in the state, Secretary of State Tre Hargett introduced a bill that would stifle voter registration efforts.
Even worse, Casada and Cothren are actively protecting the legacy of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of a violent domestic terrorist organization known as the Ku Klux Klan, by ignoring calls for his statue to be removed from the state Capitol.
Finally, Tennessee revoked health insurance for over 128,000 children last month. Health insurance policies like Medicaid, which Tennessee refused to expand, are known to be especially beneficial for African-Americans. Tennessee’s racist policymaking is no longer an elusive, systematic phenomenon.
We now know with certainty that one of the state’s highest-ranking officials believes all Black people are imbeciles and his boss—a man charged with carrying out the legislative agenda—seems just fine with this assertion.