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Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 10/28/2009

Words Matter in Hartsock Feud

In the battle over whether Ximena Hartsock remains interim director of the parks and recreation department, words matter.

First, Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) insulted Latinos by stating Hartsock didn't understand "black and brown" culture.

After the council voted 7 to 5 to reject Hartsock, she responded to Barry by making some African Americans uneasy by saying, "if Marion Barry was a white person and I was black person, there would be riots in the street."

Attorney General Peter Nickles was so upset by the council decision he told the Washington Examiner the council made its decision based on "a misogynist, racist hearing."

Council member Kwame Brown (D-At large) then accused Nickles, who worked as civil rights attorney in Mississippi in the 1960s, of "inciting" racial tensions in the District.

Over the weekend, Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) offended Nickles by stating Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration is "almost becoming a lawless administration." Nickles responded by accusing Cheh of being an "angry woman."

Brown, a possible candidate for mayor next year, was again outraged , and he issued a statement Monday demanding Nickles apologize to Cheh. Earlier today, Nickles gave Cheh flowers to try to smooth out their relationship.

But it doesn't stop there. Not to be left out, the D.C. Republican Committee is now accusing Cheh of demeaning Hartsock.

Prepare to be offended - if you believe the word "smuggling" can never be used in relation to someone who is Hispanic.

In an interview with Newschannel 8, Cheh is quoted as saying Fenty is now "smuggling" Hartsock "back in with a new label" because he reappointed her interim director on Friday.

Robert J. Kabel, chairman of the D.C. Republican Committee, said Cheh should not have used the term "smuggling" because Hartsock is from Chile and is not a U.S. citizen.

"We hope the council will send a clear message to Ms. Cheh that her comments in describing Dr. Hartsock are not welcomed and will not be tolerated," Kabel said.

Ah, politics!!

--Tim Craig

By  |  04:15 PM ET, 10/28/2009

Categories:  Tim Craig

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