The last time any significant number of North Carolinians were aware of state Senator Tommy Tucker was probably a couple of years ago when the Waxhaw Republican made some incredibly arrogant statements to people trying to inform lawmakers of the truth about some controversial issues.
“I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to sit down,” was Tucker’s now infamous quote.
Now, Tucker is back in the news making another clueless and borderline offensive remark — this one regarding the victims of the state’s horrific forced sterilization program of the 20th Century and the new and ridiculously inadequate compensation program for victims.
As the Charlotte Observer’s Jim Morrill reported this morning, advocates for eugenics victims are pointing out the existence of a truck-sized loophole in the compensation law. Under the law, hundreds, if not thousands, of people are being denied compensation because their sterilizations took place in county facilities rather than state facilities.
This is, by any fair assessment, outrageous. To think that victims will have to go to the expense and trouble of taking up their compensation claims against individual counties after decades of effort to get a state compensation law through is simply astounding. Unfortunately, good ol’ Senator Tucker doesn’t see it that way. This is from the Observer article:
“Sen. Tommy Tucker, a Union County Republican who co-chairs the Senate’s appropriations committee on Health and Human Services, said ‘the state’s done its part.’
‘They should go to the county where they were sterilized, not the state,’ he said of those victims. ‘The state’s done its part to right the wrongs that we did, but the county should be responsible for what it did.’
Uh, pardon us Senator, but the last time we checked, the counties of North Carolina were creatures of the state. Moreover, forced sterilization was, by any fair assessment, a monstrous state-supported initiative with disastrous statewide results. The victims have already been denied justice for far too long and the compensation packages available are already inadequate. That the state of North Carolina would attempt play a game of bait and switch with such an abused group of human beings is almost beyond comprehension.
Please do the right thing, Senator. Help get all of these injured people the money they deserve ASAP and then just sit down and be quiet.