In 2012 and 2014, the National Rifle Association and Tennessee Firearms Association spent over $100,000 to elect and support Representative Courtney Rogers. Most of the money was spent to oust Republican Debra Maggart in the primary. Maggart, a Republican and lifelong NRA member with an A+ rating, ran afoul of the gun lobby after she sided with business owners and voted against “guns in trunks” in 2012.
On Monday evening, Rep. Rogers spoke on the house floor in reference to the bill to defund the University of Tennessee Office of Diversity. In a confusing and rambling rant, Rep. Rogers speaks passionately about how being Hawaiian in Tennessee makes her an endangered species and offers her own suggestions on how to best help minorities. But, what was most noteworthy is when she referred to people as being “light and dark” meat.
Watch the video and read the transcript below:
Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know I’ve been visibly agitated on the House floor tonight, and for that I apologize, but I have an announcement from the Hawaiian caucus tonight.
You know, it’s not easy being a minority, I get it. But try being an endangered species. A Hawaiian in Tennessee. You know, my grandmother in Hawaii would go offer her lava rock offerings to the family god, the Aumakua. And then she would go to missionary school and pray to good lord Jesus because she didn’t want to offend all the gods, so she kinda missed the point. But that being said, missionary school taught servitude to minorities, and the Hawaiians had to fight for education, for English, for math, for science, and we got it.
And as I can see, here are minorities. They have it. If you want to help minorities then what I wanted to say here was yes, continue to shut down those specific diversity offers that waste dollars to teach us ways to somehow sexually abuse our bodies or tell us what not to believe. I would fight any office that would tell me I cannot pray to my family Aumakua, even though I don’t, or to the good lord Jesus. You know as much I would say no Christmas, no Buddha, No Allah, I don’t pray to any of those, but we have a thing called ideological freedom here in America.
If you want to help minorities then quit pushing this intellectual rubbish and start supporting those diversity offices that are recruiting the best, from light meat to dark meat, across the entire spectrum, and start pushing hard work and mental accuity. Those things bring about progress and success and equality. Mahalo.
Rogers was the house sponsor of the “guns in trunks on college campuses” bill this year. During debate on the bill on the house floor, she cited the Kent State shooting as a shooting that could have been prevented if the students had been armed. She later said she’d misspoken but still believed that allowing people to store guns in the trunks of their cars could prevent a mass shooting.
“This is what six figures of gun lobby money buys you these days,” said Beth Joslin Roth, policy director of The Safe Tennessee Project.
Below are contributions to and for Rep. Rogers as reported on the Tennessee Campaign Finance website: