This week, Nashvillians showed the rest of the nation that we are a city of open-minded individuals who will not accept intolerance. With the rejection of the English Only referendum pushed by Metro council member, Eric Crafton, our good city also rejected the notion of Crafton's thinly-veiled, racially divisive and mean spirited hatred aimed at the hispanic community in Music City.
I couldn't help but smile when I saw the outcome of the election. People like Crafton enjoy alienating minorities, using their position to try and enforce their misguided intentions upon the rest of us. But our community refused to be duped by this hatemonger. Instead, the mayor, governor and ex-mayor (who originally vetoed Crafton's first attempt at English Only in Nashville) banded together and spoke out loud and clear against the ridiculous ammendment. Following suit, members of the clergy from all denominations and faiths stood up and urged their members to vote down this measure which would deny English learning citizens the right to understand the policies and working of our city government. The hope that I held in my heart about our community's welcoming nature was justified when 10,000 more votes were cast against the English Only ammendment than those cast in it's favor. I'm proud that Nashville opened its arms to its non-English speaking citizens and refused to reject someone of the basis of language.
Now, I hope that the people in Crafton's district wake up and realize that he is a liability to our Metro Council. Over a quarter of a million dollars was wasted on this election which was completely unnecessary and motivated by a man who obviously fears and loathes Nashville's Spanish speaking population. My wish is that the people in District 22 cast their votes for a more respectful councilman/woman to represent them. Crafton's determination to force this ammendment through was shameful and exposed his true feelings to the immigrants in our community. Rather than support division and racism, why not find a way to help immigrants to learn English? It angers me that this man's prejudice cost Nashville taxpayers 280,000 dollars. When Crafton's term is finished, I hope he is booted off the Metro Council and his seat is won by an individual with a spirit of community and willingness to accept everyone.
Thanks Nashville! I'm proud to say I live in this city. I'm grateful to my fellow citizens who showed up and blocked this ammendment to the Nashville charter. And to Eric Crafton, I have one word for you....Adios!