Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Driving your own car is racist

In Russell County, Alabama, (just across the river from Columbus, Georgia, for the geographically impaired) there was a discussion last week about using county vehicles. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer has the story, but here's a summary: One county commissioner -- one of the four white ones -- brought up for a vote a policy saying that county commissioners could use the county-owned Ford Explorer only when traveling outside the local counties (Russell County, Alabama and Muscogee County, Georgia). Commissioners would have to use their own personal vehicle when driving in the local counties, and could be reimbursed at the standard rate. Another commissioner -- one of the three black ones -- called the proposed policy "racist." The vote was 3-3-1. That broke down to three whites voting "yes," three blacks voting "no," and one white abstaining. They finally ended up agreeing to research what the policy has been, since nobody remembered. Without knowing what the previous policy was, assuming there was one, it seems to me that a county vehicle could be used for county business, regardless of where the business is. A policy that says you can't use a county vehicle for county business in the county is ... stupid. Not racist, just stupid. Calling it "racist" is ... racist. And stupid. At least it's nice to know that stupidity is color-blind.

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