What’s the deal with Kansas? All the Kansans I’ve met have been pretty sensible and down to earth people. Hell, Bob Dole wasn’t my cup of tea but neither he nor his long-time Senate colleague, Nancy Landon Kassebaum, were nutters. In more recent years, Kansas wingers seem to have drunk some bizarre kind of Bleeding Kansas kool-aid or something. From the Westboro Baptist Church to the murder of Dr. Tiller to electing an idiot extremist teabagger like Sam Brownback, the state has become better known for right-wing malakatude than great college hoops. Hmm, now that I think of it, the reaction to Roy Williams leaving to coach North Carolina was a bit unhinged. They called him Traitor Roy until they became more Bill Self-possessed…
A local government official in Kansas uttered a racial slur at a meeting last week but subsequently denied that it was due to racism, citing the homes he’s built for “colored people.”
During a meeting of the Saline County, Kan. Commission last Tuesday, a
discussion over whether to hire an architect to design repairs to local
bridges turned heated. Commissioner Jim Gile argued that the county
should hire an architect rather than “nigger-rigging it,” a remark that
prompted laughter from others in the room, according to the Salina
Journal. When Gile was asked what he said, he replied,
“He’s like that congressman from Alaska,” Commission Chairman Randy Duncan said, referring to Rep. Don Young (R-AK).
On Friday, Gile said he meant to invoke the term “jury-rigged.”
“I had it (jury-rigged) on my brain and this came out,” Gile said, as quoted by the Salina Journal. “It was a bad choice of words. I’m sorry.”
Gile, who is serving his first term as a commissioner, said that he’s
not racist. “I am not a prejudiced person,” Gile said. “I have built
Habitat homes for colored people.”
Duncan appeared to agree, arguing that “there is not a racist bone” in Gile’s body.
In my experience people who use the term “colored people” in the 21st Century are not exactly enlightened when it comes to race. It’s like “nigra” was in the 1960’s. It was what the Jim Eastlands, George Wallaces, and Strom Thurmonds of the world called black folks because they just couldn’t bring themselves to say “negro.” Hmm, maybe the boneless bigot Jim Gile could have said the system was nigra-rigged. It scans a wee bit better…
Gile’s other dodge was that he meant to say “jury-rigged.” Say what? That doesn’t fit the situation and neither does jerry-rigged. Maybe he’ll claim he was talking about Bobby Riggs or John Riggins next…
I gotta give Gile credit for an original variation on the old “some of my best friends are black” thing by saying he’d built “Habitat houses” for them people. Nice try, dude.
As to whether Gile doesn’t have a racist bone in the body, there may be some justice there: the tongue is a muscle, not a bone. He is, however, a bonehead.
Since a Procol Harum tune from A Salty Dog inspired the post title, I’ll give them the last word: