These 8,000 gang members [referring to the Nashville Kurdish community, the largest in the nation], we were the first in line to donate blood when the Sept. 11 tragedy happened .... We're treated worse than second-class citizens. Most of this community has become naturalized citizens and try to earn a decent living.
- -Tennessee Kurdish Community Council member Kovan Murat
The Tennessean follows up on a previous piece on the Williamson Co. Republicans' Chair Doug Grindstaff and his prejudiced TNGOP website commentary that 8,000 Kurds living in Nashville are all responsible for robberies and drug deals. (Grindstaff also writes screeds in the Williamson Herald, which calls itself "The Voice of America's Greatest County.")
Tennessean reporters Chris Echegaray and Harriet Vaughn convey the responses from Kurds who are demanding an apology from Grindstaff. Kovan Murat was quoted as saying that the apology is necessary because Grindstaff's comments were racially motivated.
Grindstaff's puzzling reply yesterday was that he wasn't writing about the Kurds but about the media in writing specifically these words:
There are 8,000 Kurdish immigrants living here in Nashville trying to repay our hospitality by robbing us and dealing drugs.Does it sound like he's talking about the media? What do 8,000 Kurds have to do with the media's response to two gang member's trial? And as for the media's response, the wife of one of the gang members has a totally different take than Heir Grindstaff. She told the Tennessean:
If anything, I think the media focused on the Kurdish gang and not on the others [in the Nashville Kurdish community].
The Tennessean reporters noted today that Grindstaff's prejudiced commentary was discovered by bloggers. I posted about the targeting of Kurds on WilliamsonTNGOP.com on Monday after finding it on a perusal of the Republican website. It was subsequently picked up by News 2 (thanks Christian Grantham and Tiani Jones) and given more publicity. Here is News 2's exlusive report from Wednesday: