Welcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a new regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals and everything else making life miserable on a local level. Know a small time person who is a big time dick we should feature? Email us.
Since declaring his presidential candidacy in July, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has struggled to emerge from the shadow of a Donald Trump’s unbroken braying. Which, in a way, is good for him, since it gives him a chance to fill his staff with plenty of big time small time dicks.
Walker’s latest hire is South Carolina State Rep. and notable big time small time dick Garry Smith. Not only does he spell his name “Garry” — which is almost as reliably indicative of sociopathy as spelling your name “Geoff”— he’s got a fun track record of fearing the gays and loving the guns.
Smith’s most recent foray into the national spotlight came early in 2014, when he threatened to slash $70,000 from the budgets of the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston over the fact that both schools utilized course material that dealt with homosexual (incredibly gay) themes: Fun Home, an Alison Bechdel graphic novel that deals with the protagonist’s homosexuality, and “Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio,” which chronicled a gay and lesbian-themed radio show. Smith explained his discomfort with the materials’ inclusion in a sound byte that literally could not sound any more gay.
“I think the university has to be reasonable and sensible to the feelings and beliefs of their students. That was totally ignored here. I was trying to hold the university accountable,” Smith told CNN.
“Their stance is ‘Even if you don’t want to read it, we’ll shove it down your throat.’ It’s not academic freedom — it’s academic totalitarianism.”
Garry Smith may not be down with the gays, but he’s definitely into another 4-letter g-word: guns. He loves ‘em! So much that even in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, after 20 small children and six adults were shot and killed with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, State Rep. Garry Smith cosponsored a bill that would declare December 15th (the day after the anniversary of the shooting) Second Amendment Awareness Day. From the Huffington Post:
For this day, schools would be asked to conduct essay and poster contests relating to the theme “The Right To Bear Arms; One American Right Protecting All Others.”
Additionally, the bill stipulates that students across the state should learn about the Second Amendment for three weeks, for one class period per day. Schools would teach these lessons using a curriculum developed or recommended by the National Rifle Association.
Finally, the bill notes that teachers should not punish “political, written, or artistic expression that includes references to guns or a militia” because of the First Amendment.
Ah yes, the ol’ First Amendment. The only thing that stops a bad guy a copy Fun Home is a good guy with a copy of Fun Home.
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Image via screengrab.