Proposed: Nashville Human Rights Commission

Updated: June 26, 2022  5:13 pm

In a Biblical worldview, man is imperfect, a sinner. Bigotry represents sinful behavior and sin is an inherent part of human nature.  Laws have been created to identify unacceptable actions relative to discrimination, bias, prejudice, and bigotry. These laws are administered by the Federal government and the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC).

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) enforces the civil rights “laws” of the State of Indiana. Brown County attracts over an estimated 1.5 million visitors a year.   There were “6” race-related complaints in 2020 reported to the Visitors Center; the other complaints were due to accessibility issues.  Three recent race-related incidents were covered in the Brown County Democrat – all three were resolved.  The cause of the fourth incident was due to mental illness. 

June 25 Follow-up. The Report – “Nashville Human Rights Advisory Committee Recommendation Document ” and independent assessment are provided below. Reports from the State are also provided at the end of this post. Reports include the Formal Complaints Statewide and Region 9 Inquiries. 

June 22, 2022. Town council tables human rights commission ordinance discussion for now By Abigail Youmans

    • Brown County Matters – Facebook Post of the Article. Where is the link to the information (and data) provided in the research? Was this documented in a separate report to the council or just derived from anecdotes? Does the “report” include the data available from the state along with an explanation of the process for managing calls and complaints? Does the “report” include the operational definitions for the data?

May 25, 2022. Nashville’s Nancy Crocker on COVID rise, human rights ordinance By Joe Hren

    • Hren: We talked about the human rights ordinance that’s being worked on had one reading. What’s the next step?
    • Crocker: We were going to do a second reading at the last town council meeting. And in the last hour, a couple of groups that had questions and had initially said they were against it, met with some people, another council person and said, you know what, we’ve kind of reconsidered this. And we kind of would like you to just pause a minute for us to kind of get together and talk about it.
    • So we’re really, really hopeful that we can talk to them and help them understand how this is a good thing for our community. So we’ll do hopefully, a second reading at the next meeting. And again, this isn’t an emergency. So we’ll do a second reading in the June meeting and then we’ll have a vote on it then. That’s at least the tentative plan at this point.

May 20, 2022.  Rebuttal – Support for HRC posted at Brown County Chatter by Jeff Foster, Don’t Tread on Indiana (DTOI)

    • At last night’s Town Council meeting, a member of DTOI overheard Nashville IN Town Council president Nancy Crocker state aloud: “The folks who are doing the freedom rallies [Don’t Tread On Indiana] approached us about putting this ordinance together.” She was talking about the human rights ordinance.
    • To be clear, Don’t Tread On Indiana has never contacted any Town Council official advocating in favor of the proposed human rights ordinance. This is because we stand staunchly against it, for reasons that will be elucidated in a future statement.
    • Why the Nashville Town Council president believes and stated aloud in public that DTOI ever encouraged the construction of this unnecessary and potentially counter-productive initiative is beyond our imagination. That’s a question best asked of Nancy Crocker.

The second reading of the draft was scheduled for May 19, 2022. It was postponed.

Brown County Matters Facebook Post of the Meeting. 6:30 PM  9:00 PM. Nashville Town Hall 200 Commercial Street Nashville, IN, 47448. Zoom Meeting; Meeting ID: 831 5769 5453

Context. The following article distinguishes the difference between tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. Tolerance is a virtue that is a basis for First Amendment protections. Just because you have tolerance for a situation does not mean you accept it. Dialogue can lead to understanding and a higher probability of positive change. Ref:  Feb 25, 2014. Psychology Today, by Jefferson M Fish Ph.D.  Tolerance, Acceptance, Understanding


WHEREAS the Town of Nashville recognizes the need for a Human Rights Commission to address issues of bias, discrimination, and prejudice in the community, which has been documented by comments and complaints in the community, by personal testimony, and by reported cases

Bigotry is another term linked to Bias, Discrimination, and Prejudice and could include just about anything.  What human being is free from bigotry?  What would be the criteria for accepting and processing complaints?   Categories could include age, gender, appearance, race, culture, heritage, and politics.

    • Bias.  a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment 
    • Discrimination. unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice;
    • The definition of prejudice includes “harm caused by the adverse preconceptions of others.”   Webster’s New World College Dictionary includes a description that: “
      • The definition of bigotry is prejudice and the state of being intolerant” and
      • bigot  is a person who is prejudiced, or intolerant of those who are different.” 

 Reference: OneLook Dictionary

May 16, 2022. Post of the Meeting Announcement at Brown County Matters with questions and comments. Based on feedback, the 2nd reading of the ordinance was moved to next month. Minor changes were made to the ordinance.

Report Extracts:  Nashville Human Rights Advisory Committee Recommendation Document 

    • The Indiana Civil Rights Commission Annual Report (2020) shows that:
      • 8,581 calls/reports were made to the ICRC State office; 
      • 784 were drafted into complaints;
      • 282 were from Region 9 which includes Brown County
    • The historical record of bias, discrimination and need has been demonstrated by:
      • a. Well-documented cases that have been reported in The Democrat 
      • b. Comments and complaints lodged at the Visitors Center
      • c. Personal testimony by shop owners, students and delivery drivers
      • d. The 100+ people who participated in the Nashville Solidarity Rally

Independent Assessment – Information provided by the state, BC Democrat, Visitors Center

  1.  The 8,581 calls to the Indiana Civil Rights Commission is statewide and includes the total number of times their phone rang (calls). The actual number of inquiries statewide was 2,082. 
  2. Region 9 consists of 16 counties. Of the 282, “calls”, there were 194 “inquiries.”  
  3. The ICRC does not track the region of formalized complaints. Once the complaint is formalized, they only track the protected classes.

  4. The Visitors Center had 6 total complaints in 2020 regarding race…all others were due to accessibility issues. Complaints are given to the respective store owners.   

  5. Rally.  Total attendance was estimated at around 100. Does this include law enforcement and security personnel?  Were any reports submitted by attendees?
  6. Reports in the Democrat. There were two (2) associated with the school (blackface and yearbook) and one (1) with the local GOP.  These were ALL resolved. No laws were broken and no charges were filed.

May 5, 2022Human rights commission closer to forming, second reading set for this month by Abigail Youmans, BCD

    • The Indiana Civil Rights Commission Annual Report of 2020 showed that 8,581 reports were made to the state office. Of those reports, 784 were drafted into complaints and of those complaints, 282 were from Region 9, which includes Brown County.
    • Should an individual face discrimination, they have the ability to inform the Human Rights Commission, who will then direct the individual to appropriate resources provided by the state.
    • The committee stated in their recommendation a record of “bias and discrimination” has been documented by the newspaper and by comments and complaints taken at the Visitors Center along with personal testimony by shop owners, students and delivery drivers. A need was also documented based on comments taken from more than 100 people who participated in the Nashville Solidarity Rally in 2020.
    • Potorti said in November that the town has few — if any — reliable or consistent ways to report or evaluate the quality and treatment of its citizens and visitors. … He said that precedence is already being established locally, like in the Brown County School Corporation which created a district Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of staff members in 2019.

Feb 3, 2022. Town council continues talks of human rights commission, role in county by Abigail Youmans  February 3, 2022. Nashville Town Council may soon have a partner in establishing a countywide Human Rights Commission.

Nov 30, 2021. Town council continues talks of human rights commission, role in county by Abigail Youmans – February 3, 2022. Nashville Town Council may soon have a partner in establishing a countywide Human Rights Commission.

    • Is there a published report available? Curious about the methodology used to collect the data. Too often, anecdotal information is incorrectly used to determine conclusions and identify “solutions.”   Post of the article at Brown County Matters

Jan 27, 2021. Town council OKs human rights advisory committee. The Nashville Town Council is accepting applications through Feb. 17 to form a group of five people to study “the need, function, structure and scope of a Human Rights Commission.”

The council voted 4-1 last week to form a temporary citizens advisory committee on this topic, which will report to the town council after a three-month period with its findings.

Reports provided by the State

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) enforces the civil rights laws of the State of Indiana. We investigate complaints of discrimination and educate organizations, companies, landlords, associations, and individuals on their rights and responsibilities under Indiana Civil Rights Laws. If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination call 1-800-628-2909 or click here to file a complaint electronically.

HRC State Formalized Complaints

HRC State Inquiries by Region


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