Friday, July 09, 2004

Small Time Dick

As Athenae and I mentioned earlier in this space, former LA Mayor and current California Education Secretary Richard Riordan thinks that it's funny to call six-year-old Isis D'Luciano stupid and dirty. The outrage over Secretary Riordan's "joke" has nothing to do with race as some have implied, it springs from the fact that the man should be primarily concerned with the well-being of California's children.

If Riordan were the Secretary of Agriculture and he told a farmer to go fuck himself, how long do you think he would last? So tell us, Arnie, do you value education?

California NAACP president Alice A. Huffman says it best:

"It is abusive to use such language toward a child, regardless the gender, race, socioeconomic background or national heritage," Alice A. Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in a statement.

"To say that he was only kidding or joking suggests that Mr. Riordan, who is in charge of developing education policy for our children, knows nothing about children and has even less respect for them."

Isis' mother Trinity Lila thinks that Riordan probably should resign as well, and she sounds like she's a great mom:

"I let my daughter go to story hour and figured she'd be safe in a room full of librarians and parents and other children and the secretary of education," Lila said.

"If I was in the room, I would have defended her. But she did OK without me. I'm really proud of her for standing up for herself. She's OK. She's moved on. It's not like I'm going to sue to pay her therapy bills."


Lila said her daughter didn't correct Riordan because "she told me she didn't want to hurt his feelings. I got the impression she just didn't think he was very bright."

"I really didn't know much about the man, so I wasn't aware of how socially inept he is," she said. "He's a bureaucrat and I guess he's a grandfather. But it doesn't seem like he's had a lot of exposure to kids. It was really a stupid thing to say."