The story of California Education Secretary Richard Riordan pretty much evaporated after it turned out that the poor little black girl he insulted was actually white.
(Actually, I thought I posted on this. Didn’t I? A reader sent me a link on Friday. Now that I try to insert the link, I can’t find my post. Did I lose it? Did I dream it?)
Anyway, in case you haven’t heard the story, Riordan told a six-year-old girl that he thought her name, Isis, meant “stupid dirty girl” and everyone is calling for him to lose his job. And that’s not all.
Democratic state Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, who had scheduled a protest by civil rights organizations, canceled the demonstration after an apparent mix-up over the girl’s racial background.
Dymally was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News Thursday saying the child was “a little African-American girl. Would he (Riordan) have done that to a white girl?”
The answer is yes. Yes, he would have. Because Isis is white.
Dymally cancelled the protest. Apparently it’s okay to call white girls stupid and dirty.
“Race is not a factor in this issue,” Dymally said in Thursday’s statement, adding that Riordan had apologized a second time. “It is time for us to move on.”
Why does Dymally have to compound his stupidity by lying? Yes, I said “lying”. “Race is not a factor in this issue”? Race wasn’t a factor until you tried to make it one, mister.
Riordan was pretty stupid to say what he said. He apologized quickly, though, and the girl and her mother have pretty much dismissed the whole thing. Racial minorities in America, too, appear ready to move on.
Incidentally, if you listen to the exchange it’s not nearly as bad as the write ups make it sound. Riordan is clearly joking and means no harm. I’m not really defending what he said, but I guess I’m not ready to join the lynch mob over this one.
Here’s a transcript of the exchange (by me from the video):
Isis: Did you know that my name actually means an “Egyptian goddess”?
Riordan: Uh, it means, uh, it means “stupid dirty girl”.
[Everyone laughs] [Riordan laughs]
Riordan: No, what does it mean?
Isis: It means “Egyptian goddess!”
Riordan: Oh, is that what it means? Hey, that’s nifty!
You can view the video at the Smoking Gun.
Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally said Friday that he was suspending a top aide over a canceled news conference that had been called to criticize state education secretary and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan for a comment made last week to a 6-year-old girl.
The Compton Democrat abruptly called off the conference Thursday, the day it was supposed to take place. Dymally said his staff director, Warren Quann, had scheduled the event without his permission and would be suspended for the rest of July.
In an interview, Dymally, 78, said he had told aides at a staff meeting that he wanted to refer the issue to the California Legislative Black Caucus. He said he was surprised to find out later that he was the event’s sponsor. Quann could not be reached for comment Friday.
Dymally later told The Times that the girl’s race was not the reason he canceled the news conference.
“I’m one of those black politicians who doesn’t think about race,” he said.