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Huffington Post helps create race-issue smokescreen

KW: This is a slightly modified version of a letter I sent to the Huffington Post.  You can see the Huffington Post article, “Sen. Kevin Parker’s Rant On Race Video”, with their ridiculous and off-topic poll: here.

Re: Your article and poll about Kevin Parker

Dear Huffington Post,

I am surprised and upset that you have dived into the NY State Senate racial argument in such a wrong way.

The main point of what was happening that a  Governor who is African-American was appointing a man who is African-American for a committee, in hopes the man would use his personal experience, and his experience addressing inequality, to enhance the board.

The second point of the story was that white State Senator John DeFrancisco was harassing a man – Mark O’Luck – who was the Governor’s nominee, with repetitious and out-of-order questions.

How you could be so foolish as to help in the white privileged/status quo/and Republican-led charade of pointing a finger at State Senator Kevin Parker? Parker is a mere flea in the big picture of this story. Unfortunately, he happens to be a dramatic flea, and a man for whom it is easy to vilify and hiss at, while the Republicans slip under the radar and create a whole precedent that it is unacceptable to cite one’s “black experience” as a positive thing in government.

I can’t believe that with all the characters in this story, all with their own positions worthy of reflection by the public, that you are wasting time having a poll about Kevin Parker. He is only the sideshow.

I hope you will consider AT LEAST doing one story on the main issues at hand:

*NY appointed someone to a committee or board in hopes that there would be someone with experience supporting minority-owned businesses

*Before 2006, the NY State government rarely gave out contracts to minority owned businesses. (The Governor tried to explain this point in the press after the incident.)

Please consider studying the issue more, and consider reading the article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh.

Kimberly Wilder

After I sent this letter, I had an interesting thought. Perhaps the Huffington Post should do a poll in a way that would focus the discussion better. If I wrote for the Huffington Post, here are some polls I would put up:

Proposed Poll #1:

Do you believe that the experience of a white person being the first in his family to go to college is equal to the struggle of a black person in America?

Proposed Poll #2:

Do you think that NY State Senator Carl Krueger could have mitigated the conflict at the recent Finance Committee meeting if he would have redirected NY State Senator John DeFrancisco, or called DeFrancisco out-of-order, when DeFrancisco was saying “ham-handed” things about race (as the NY Times put it)?

Proposed Poll #3: (Has two questions)

Do you consider yourself black, white, or other?

Do you believe that state governments should have any programs to ensure that minority owned businesses receive a fair amount of state contracts?

Proposed Poll #4:

Do you think that Mark O’Luck was a good choice for the NY State Power Authority position that Governor Paterson appointed him to?


If you are not one of the 7,900 and something people who has reviewed the video of this incident, please see below or go to the NY State Senate youtube page and watch it: here. Make sure you start around 19 minutes in or before.


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