Tuesday’s Dallas County Commissioner’s Court meeting erupted into an argument between Commissioner John Wiley Price and a citizen, ending with Price repeatedly telling several citizens to “go to hell.”
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As Price stood to leave, he looked at Turner and the five other citizens who addressed the court. Price said to them, “All of you are white. Go to hell!”
Price repeated “go to hell” three more times. An unknown member of the audience said, “You should be ashamed!”
“I’m not ashamed!” Price answered. “I’m not ashamed! Go to hell!”
Now I don’t care that Price told a group of citizens to go to hell. It might not have been the best thing for him to do and is worthy of a bit of ridicule, but such language has a colorful history from political leaders with a connection to Texas – Davy Crockett, defeated for reelection to Congress from Tennessee, told a group of former constituents that “you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.”
No, the problem is the flat-out racist nature of the attack – “You all are white. Go to hell!” If you don’t see the problem, just imagine if the races had been different and such a politician had verbally attacked a group of black or Hispanic constituents – or gay or Muslim -- in such a manner. Such an imprudent official would have been immediately tarred as a bigot and driven from office by the weight of public opinion from all segments of the community. In a time when we have a black president who has claimed to be about post-racial politics, there is no place for a racist racial dinosaur like John Wiley Price in public office. Where are the community leaders – especially leaders within the various minority communities in Dallas County – calling for Price’s resignation from office? Or are they telling us that they apply a racist double standard to the conduct of minority politicians?