Thursday, August 24, 2006

Via Shakespeare's Sister, I learn of the enlightened racial views of Republican state senator Chris Buttars of Utah, as revealed in a recent radio interview:

…During the radio interview host Tom Grover noted that courts historically have been used by minority groups "to ensure [their] rights are protected."

"I don't know of an example where the minority is being jeopardized by legislative action," Buttars replied.

Grover then brought up the Kansas desegregation case that resulted in the busing of black students to white schools and vice versa.

"I think Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with," Buttars shot back.

When Grover attempted to press him on the reply Buttars refused to be more specific, saying only "one day call me again and we'll take a half hour on that one." ...

That's remarkable enough, but it gets better: Buttars realized he had to walk back his remarks, and he was doing just fine -- at first:

Amid the fray, Buttars emerged to clarify his remarks telling Deborah Bulkeley of the Deseret Morning News, "I think Brown v. Board of Education was a monumental step forward. It took that kind of bullet to break through that segregation wall."

But he just couldn't leave it at that:

But Buttars said there were drawbacks to desegregation for some children who were taken out of neighborhood schools where they were in the majority, something he says is detailed in the book "Education Myths" by Jay Greene.

"He talks about how you had schools in the South that were really geared toward the special needs of minority kids," Buttars said. "Then all of a sudden you bused half those kids to a different school that maybe got more money, but they weren't geared to the needs of those kids."

"The special needs of minority kids"? Good grief.


Buttars is a piece of work. Not only did he once introduce legislation that would have brought intelligent design to Utah schools (the bill was shot down), he calls ID "divine design," apparently having missed the ID movement's carefully crafted talking points, which state that the intelligent designer of the universe doesn't have to be God. Oh, and here's some of his airtight reasoning for why the believers in evolution have it all wrong:

Buttars doesn’t disregard evolution completely, rather he believes God is the creator, but His creations have evolved within their own species.

"We get different types of dogs and different types of cats, but you have never seen a 'dat,' " he said.

Sheer brilliance.

Buttars doesn't like "activist judges":

Chris Buttars ... now proposes giving him and his Senate colleagues the power to fire judges whose rulings they don't like.

The current judicial retention election, in which Utahns vote to keep or get rid of a judge, is inadequate, the West Jordan Republican contends.

Every judge "should have to pass a Senate confirmation vote again" when his term comes up, he said.

"That is the only way to make the public aware of some of these terrible decisions. ... I don't know where some of these decisions are coming from. Some judges just go in there and wing it," Buttars said....

Oh, and he's not a huge fan of gay people -- he wants to ban gay-straight alliances in Utah schools, and, of course, he has sponsored legislation banning gay marriage in Utah, with his usual gift for words:

In putting the bill to a vote, its sponsor, Sen. Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) said the legislation will protect traditional marriage and denied accusations from gays in the state that he is promoting hate and discrimination.

"I want to declare here on the floor that I have homosexual friends," Buttars said. "But I don't accept their behavior any more than I do alcoholics'."

A real prince, this guy.

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