Dems call for diversity training for lawmakers - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Dems call for diversity training for lawmakers

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Democratic leaders point to insulting comments made by two Republican lawmakers to the Legislature's black caucus in calling for legislators to undergo diversity and sensitivity training.

State Sen. Jim Summerville of Dickson has been criticized for an insulting email this month that in crude language said he didn't care what the black caucus thinks.

His Republican colleague, Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, has supported the comment and even called the black caucus a "segregationist organization" that should be ignored.

Three years ago, Democratic Rep. John Deberry of Memphis held two diversity training sessions for legislative staffers following the revelation that a Tennessee legislative staffer sent a racist e-mail about President Barack Obama from her state computer.

Deberry says it's time for lawmakers to go through some sessions.

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