Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Opinion

Hillsborough leaders err in Terry Kemple diversity appointment

This only made perfect sense. After all this is Hillsborough County, a strange, wondrous land where common sense so often goes to die.

How else to explain why a homophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-anti-Whatcha got? oaf could not only apply to serve on the Hillsborough County DIVERSITY (!!!!!!!!!!) Advisory Council, but actually win approval for his appointment?

And so henceforth, or at least until Terry Kemple moves to bring back witch-burning in the public square, the Parson Squeamish of Brandon will be sitting on the diversity council. Expect a sudden rush on the sales of garlic, mirrors and wooden crucifixes.

This is a bit like naming a member of the Donner Party to a seat on the Florida Restaurant Association, or a tea party frother wanting to join the board of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Just why Kemple would even want to serve on the Diversity Advisory Council is no small mystery. After all, it was Torquemada of the South County who in an email to his lemmings of Leviticus described the council as little more than a "code for some effort to forward the homosexual agenda."

Frankly, I've never quite understood what the "homosexual agenda" is supposed to mean, but I promise to start watching the Bravo channel more often to find out.

Given Kemple's admitted disdain for gays and lesbians, as well as his well-documented opposition to permitting a Muslim to speak at a public school, which royally got his sackcloth in a wad, it would seem serving on a public body dedicated to advancing the cause of diversity in Hillsborough County might be a bit of a stretch.

And that probably explains why Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who is openly gay, opposed approving Kemple's appointment. Really now, do you really want someone serving on a diversity council who comes into the job believing sizable numbers of the population are going to burn in hell because of someone they love or that a member of the Council of American-Islamic Relations might be playing footsie-wootsie with terrorists?

Apparently so. In defending Kemple's selection, Commissioner Victor Crist argued it was important for the Vicar of "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE!!!" to serve on the diversity council because ". . . there's a constituency out there in our county that are voters and residents that thinks and feels the same way Mr. Kemple does and to say they don't deserve a seat at the table is being exclusive."

No, it's not being "exclusive." It's being rational.

Essentially Crist was suggesting since Kemple represents a voice of self-righteous bigotry it is vital that the self-righteous bigot community be represented on a government agency dedicated to celebrating the cultural/ethnic/religious diversity of the county.

Thus Victor Crist channeled that famous quote once uttered by Roman Hruska, who was widely regarded as one of the dumber-than-an-anvil U.S. senators in the history of the nation.

In the 1970s during the Senate confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harrold Carswell, it was noted that Richard Nixon had named one of the foremost mediocre legal minds to be found across the land.

Hruska leapt to Carswell's defense by noting: "So what if he is mediocre. There are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation aren't they?"

Roman Hruska would have made for one darn fine county commissioner.

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