Equality Texas CEO Chuck Smith Slams "Extremist" Republicans in TribTalk Op-ed

click to enlarge Equality Texas' Chuck Smith is CEO of the largest LGBT equality organization in the Lone Star State.
Equality Texas' Chuck Smith is CEO of the largest LGBT equality organization in the Lone Star State.

Equality Texas' CEO Chuck Smith thought the days of George Wallace were long gone.

In an opinion piece for TribTalk, Smith admits he was wrong.

I thought the days of George Wallace and the ugly bigotry of the past were a chapter in the history books. Instead, people who want to be president of the United States are openly racists, bigots, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and anti-woman, and they proudly compete to be the candidate most willing to say, do and promise anything — no matter how discriminatory against our fellow Americans.

However, while much of this bigoted ad hateful rhetoric is being seen through the lens of presidential candidates Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, it isn't new.

Proposals such as Cruz's are a subtle form of racism, one that Republicans in Texas for years have used to discriminate against the least powerful in the state. His efforts to take this code language to the national stage are an embarrassment not only for Texas and the Republican presidential primary campaign, but also for our country as a whole.
Smith is referring to Cruz's cold-hearted call to increase law enforcement patrols and surveillance in American Muslim neighborhoods after radical Islamist terrorists attacked parts of Brussels. 

Unfortunately, this nastiness is also reflected in state politics. 

And, it’s not just presidential candidates; Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is doing the same thing at the state level. He recently hired Jeff Mateer as first assistant attorney general, who as general counsel of the Plano-based First Liberty Institute amassed a long record of discriminating against LGBT Texans. Texas politicians, candidates running for national office and their employees should not be in the business of discrimination against their own constituents.
As Smith notes in his TribTalk column, low voter turnout is one huge reason people like Cruz and Paxton and, yes, possibly Trump, are elected to office.

 We are allowing a tiny fraction of extremists to run our state — and possibly our country.
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