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The Hughes Report
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
"Black Hole" Called Racist
Topic: Race and Racialism
In Dallas, a county commissioners meeting erupted into pandemonium when two black commissioners objected to a white commissioner's use of the term, "black hole."

Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, referred to the Central Collections Office as a "black hole" because it had gained a reputation for losing paperwork.  John Wiley Price interrupted, saying that it should be called a "white hole."  Judge Thomas Jones demanded that Mayfield apologize for racial insensitivity.  

Mayfield tried to explain that the term "black hole" was a scientific term as well as a common figure of speech.

That is reminiscent of the 1999 firing of David Howard for using the term "niggardly," which means "miserly," and has nothing to do with race.  In that case, as well, black officials, who were ignorant of the word's meaning and overreacted, insisted that he should have realized how it sounded to black listeners.

Similarly, earlier this year, National Public Radio apologized for using the term "Dark Continent" to describe Africa.

Do we really expect electing Barack Obama to solve this racial hypersensitivity, or would that only make it worse?

Read about it:
http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/07/dallas-county-meeting-turns-ra.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/jan99/district27.htm
http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2008/02/should_npr_have_apologized_for.html

Posted by hughes at 4:14 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 11, 2008 5:19 PM CDT

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