The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators (TBCSL) and Tennessee State Conference NAACP President Gloria Sweet-Love are calling for the resignation of Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada.
The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators voted overwhelmingly on Monday to join in the call for House Speaker Glen Casada to resign from his position. The announcement came after meetings all day between the Black Caucus, Speaker Casada and members of his staff.
Black Caucus Chairman G.A. Hardaway said the TBCSL has to adhere to its “moral compass to fight for the respect and dignity of everyone who enters the House of the People.” Chairman Hardaway said the Caucus is standing by its requests for independent investigations into the Speaker’s office and will release a more detailed action plan for ways to improve race and gender relations in the Legislature.
Gloria Sweet-Love, state president of the NAACP. agrees with the caucus that it is time for the speaker to step down.
“State of Tennessee House Speaker Rep. Glen Casada acknowledged that there may be a problem with racism in the House of Representatives,” she said. “This on the heels of the recent resignation of his Chief of Staff for sending racist texts to Speaker Casada and others about African Americans.”
Casada has acknowledged that he participated in exchanging sexist texts with a former employee.
“This type of racist and sexist behavior should not and cannot be tolerated in our state, especially by those who make the laws that govern our state. As President of the NAACP Tennessee State Conference, I call for the resignation of Speaker Casada in order for our state to move forward. I ask that the Republican and Democratic leadership ask for his resignation immediately. “
According to Sweet-Love, this will allow for the beginning of the “process of working towards healing racism that currently exists within our state government.”
Casada’s troubles began after a local news channel released an investigative report on Casada’s Chief of staff, Cade Cothren, about racist, sexual, and misogynistic texts he sent, some of which to and from Casada. The story has also led to local legislators calling for a federal probe into Casada for allegations of spying and filing a false complaint using a doctored email in an attempt to frame a civil rights activist.