UPDATE – 10/19 @ 10:21
Both Rep. Bubba Carpenter and Speaker Philip Gunn both issued comments regarding Carpenter’s remarks today.
Rep. Bubba Carpenter:
“I am deeply sorry for the comments I recently made,” said Rep. Carpenter. ” They were inappropriate, and I was completely out of line. There is no excuse for what I said. Please forgive me.”
Speaker Philip Gunn:
“The comments of Rep. Carpenter were completely inappropriate,” said Speaker Philip Gunn. “His comments do not reflect the attitude of the Republican Party or the leadership of the House.”
My thoughts are that it is big of both of them and a step in the right direction to get the conversation squarely back on the task at hand.
Every once in a while, someone in the public eye does something so unbelievably stupid that it doesn’t need any further explanation.
Rep. Bubba Carpenter jumped feet-first in that territory at a Tishomingo Republican rally by saying, “If 42 passes in its form, a judge in Hinds County, Mississippi, predominantly black — it’s going to be a black judge — they’re going to tell us where the state education money goes.”
Carpenter’s statement was as factually wrong as it was offensive. There’s no defending it and there’s no hiding it.
There have been a lot of leaders on the anti-42 movement (Bryant, Gunn, Snowden, Reeves, etc.) and so far you’ll notice that Carpenter has not been trotted out on behalf of the effort by anyone in a leadership capacity.
What he said, regardless of what (on God’s green earth) his intention, was offensive and stupid. He needs to move immediately (like this morning) to clean up the mess because the mess he created has absolutely nothing to do with the District 1 that he represents.
Here’s the prescription.
1. Apologize completely and unconditionally today.
2. Keep his fu&#%ng mouth shut for the next three weeks (possibly extending to a longer period . . . like, say forever) on anything regarding 42. And while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and now add the state flag as on the list of no-no topics for Carpenter.
I’ve been pretty vocal that Republicans in Mississippi need to do a lot better job recruiting African American candidates and voters and create an environment where there’s no stigma for them in supporting conservative policies and candidates. This certainly doesn’t help, especially three weeks before a statewide election. Publicly and privately, Carpenter needs to have the message delivered to him that he did damage that he needs to now try to fix.
I’ll freely admit that I’m not without sin here. I’ve written this site for 11 years. With about 42,000 posts, I’ve luckily written only a couple of things that I really wanted to take back not because they came from a bad place, but because they were wrong. I made those apologies in earnest and moved on. Hopefully, Carpenter will too.