Last week I came up with the idea of doing an “Idiot of the Week” column once a week. I may have to expand that to twice a week, as there are just so many bloomin’ idiots out there! This week, I focus on an Independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee, Rick Tyler.
Rick Tyler, it seems, wishes to “make America white again”. Yes, you heard me, and if you live in Tennessee, you have possibly seen his highway billboards. On his Facebook page, he attempted to explain his motives … “The Caucasian race has been inordinately blessed and favored by the God of scripture. Tyler for Congress candidacy [sic] is a last ditch effort to challenge the descendants of America’s founders to ‘return to the ancient landmarks.’” Has he forgotten that it was those very founders, those very Caucasians who actually brought the Africans over here, manacled and shackled, and forced them into slavery? Is that the legacy in which he takes so much pride?
One of his billboards showcases the White House surrounded by Confederate flags. At the top of that billboard are Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous words: “I Have a Dream.” Oh the irony!
Tyler ran for Senate in 2014 against long-time Senator Lamar Alexander (since 2003), and earned less than 1% of the vote, so at least the good people of Tennessee have the good sense not to take this man too seriously. Still, in this, the age where Donald Trump has essentially campaigned against every minority, thus indirectly seeks to “make America white again”, and has made it all the way to being the presumptive Republican nominee, one can never be too sure. Tyler, not surprisingly, is a big fan of da trumpeter.
In an interview with a local television news station, Tyler said the billboard reflects his call for America to return to the “1960s, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver time when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration.” Oh come on, man! He sees the 1960s as a time of shallow sit-coms, a time when life was just hunky-dory? What about the Cold War? What about the Vietnam War? What about the KKK murders of Civil Rights workers in Mississippi, murders of children in a church in Alabama? What about the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King? What about the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis? Rick Tyler wants a return to that? Either the man knows no history, is stupid, or is wearing a bucket on his head … perhaps all three!
Tyler, who owns a local restaurant, Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, describes himself on his Facebook page as an “Entrepreneur, Pastor and Political Candidate.” I wonder if his restaurant has a “whites only” sign in the window? There have been calls among local residents for a boycott of his restaurant, and the local Kiwanis Club says they will never meet there again. And … a “pastor”? A religious man? A man supposedly ‘of God’? What religion? Westboro-style?
Though his “make America white again” billboards are the only ones thus far in service, he has designs for others that he plans to erect in the near future. These include billboards against Muslims, against same-sex marriage, and even one against inter-racial marriage!
Tyler says he welcomes the backlash that has been a result of his hate-filled campaign and believes the majority of the people in the area actually like his billboards and his ideas. “I saw people taking pictures beside it right after I posted it,” he said.
I should be getting immune to it by now, but when I read the ignorance, stupidity and hatred of people like this, my blood still boils. I am still amazed that there seem to be so many small-minded, everything-phobic, bigots in this nation. The government of the United States has as its foundation the U.S. Constitution, an ever-evolving document that seeks to guarantee a large number of individual freedoms to the citizens of this nation. Have we gone too far in granting individual freedoms and created monsters instead of humans? Do we no longer see our rights as carrying certain responsibilities? Are we no longer a nation of caring, kind people? Or were we ever? Think about it.