Thursday, July 10, 2008

Black Holes "Racist"

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets went pear shaped this past Monday when county commissioner Kenneth Mayfield (who is white) described the central collections office as a "black hole" because paperwork routinely gets lost there.

The Dallas Morning News describes what happened next:

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term.

Apparently, certain black democrats in the Dallas County, Texas (namely Commissioner John Wiley Price and Judge Thomas Jones) are either totally ignorant of some basic principles of science or are unapologetic, bigoted race-baiters.

A black hole is
...a region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull. ... Incidentally, the name 'black hole' was invented by John Archibald Wheeler, and seems to have stuck because it was much catchier than previous names. Before Wheeler came along, these objects were often referred to as 'frozen stars.'" (source).
This seems like a pretty reasonable description to apply to an office where paperwork goes in and is never seen again. And I am pretty sure that replacing the non-catchy and less correct term "frozen stars" with "black holes" was not racially motivated.

Some people's kids. Sheesh.

*Update (18 July 2008): 850 KOA radio host and Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Rosin expanded on this debacle in a column in today's paper. Mike's much funnier than I am, but he does get paid for this kind of thing. I'm glad this story got some national attention. Stupid people need to be called out into public once in a while.