posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 05:46 AM
as this is an email, hope it is ok to post, the entirity, if not, guess it will be edited, and i will learn, more i see of total recall, arnie on
steroids...shows lots of respect...
dont have link so.........
Furor grows over Riordan's remark to girl
By Gary Delsohn -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, July 9, 2004
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office continued to back embattled Education
Secretary Richard Riordan on Thursday amid growing outrage and demands for
Riordan's resignation over his bizarre comment to a 6-year-old girl.
Riordan, a former Los Angeles mayor long known for occasionally making
off-the-cuff comments that offend some people, was under attack for telling
the youngster at a Santa Barbara library reading program last week that her
name, Isis, "means stupid, dirty girl."
A Schwarzenegger spokesman said Riordan and the governor spent time together
last weekend and that Schwarzenegger has no plans to ask him to resign.
"The governor appreciates the mayor's commitment to education, to reform and
to children and looks forward to him continuing in his job," Rob Stutzman
said. "That's the end of the issue, as far as we are concerned."
But instead of disappearing amid the ongoing budget talks and other Capitol
business, the controversy escalated Thursday with several groups demanding
"It is abusive to use such language toward a child, regardless the gender,
race, socioeconomic background or national heritage," Alice A. Huffman,
president of the California State Conference of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People, said in a statement.
"To say that he was only kidding or joking suggests that Mr. Riordan, who is
in charge of developing education policy for our children, knows nothing
about children and has even less respect for them."
The NAACP and other civil rights groups had planned to attend a Capitol news
conference Thursday called by Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Compton, who was
demanding that Riordan step down. Dymally's office abruptly canceled the
event, however, after learning that the girl is white.
Dymally, who is African American, was quoted in Thursday's San Jose Mercury
News stating that the girl was African American and asking whether Riordan
would ... have done that to a white girl?"
The NAACP, the California Coalition for Racial Equality and a spokesman for
League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation's oldest Latino civil
rights group, continued to call for Riordan to step down, but Dymally
changed his mind.
"Mayor Richard Riordan has extended another apology ... and expressed his
regret to me by way of a Los Angeles bishop," Dymally said in a statement.
To err is human; to forgive is divine. I have requested a meeting with
Secretary Riordan to further discuss the issue."
That prompted a reaction of disbelief from the girl's mother, who had been
avoiding media calls to shield her daughter. She said she felt compelled to
speak out after Dymally's comments.
"If he feels the man should step down, why does it matter if my daughter is
white?" Trinity Lila of Goleta said in an interview.
Lila said Riordan should probably step down but isn't demanding he do so.
Riordan, who is a close friend of Schwarzenegger's and was his first Cabinet
appointment after the governor took office in November, was out of state and
was not taking calls from the media.
"I let my daughter go to story hour and figured she'd be safe in a room full
of librarians and parents and other children and the secretary of education,
"If I was in the room, I would have defended her. But she did OK without me.
I'm really proud of her for standing up for herself. She's OK. She's moved
on. It's not like I'm going to sue to pay her therapy bills."
The controversy began July 1 when Riordan, a wealthy venture capitalist
whose foundation has spent millions of dollars promoting literacy and
computer programs for minority and other children, attended a summer reading
program at the Santa Barbara Central Library.
With a few dozen children seated on the floor next to Riordan, Isis D
Luciano, a blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl, asked him a question.
"Did you know that my name actually means an Egyptian goddess?" she said
with noticeable pride in her voice.
Riordan looked somewhat confused for a moment or two before answering: "It
means stupid, dirty girl."
The kids groaned and giggled, before Isis again said her name was that of a
"Hey, that's nifty," said Riordan, who issued a statement a short time later
saying he "teased" her and "immediately apologized ... for misunderstanding.
Lila said her daughter didn't correct Riordan because "she told me she didn
t want to hurt his feelings. I got the impression she just didn't think he
was very bright."
"I really didn't know much about the man, so I wasn't aware of how socially
inept he is," she said. "He's a bureaucrat and I guess he's a grandfather.
But it doesn't seem like he's had a lot of exposure to kids. It was really a
stupid thing to say."
While critics pointed to numerous verbal gaffes Riordan has made over the
years, associates and others rushed to his defense.
Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, said she doesn't agree with
Riordan on too much politically but believed the remarks were out of
character from a man she is convinced has great affection for children.
"I've seen him make a lot of gaffes, but nothing like this," she said. "He's
always been extremely sweet and caring with kids. I'm wondering if maybe he
had the flu or a cold and was taking some medication or something that
affected him, because this doesn't make sense."
And Kevin Spillane, political director for Riordan's 2002 gubernatorial
campaign, said he doesn't think Riordan should or would resign.
"Why should a man who has a lifetime of doing charitable work for children
resign over one unfortunate remark that he quickly apologized for?" Spillane
"And for Mervyn Dymally to try to make political hay by shamelessly playing
the race card in this is ridiculous. Richard Riordan has done more for black
children than Mervyn Dymally can ever dream of," he said.
Dymally was unavailable for comment.
(uhhhhhhhhhh, me i am speechless........)