A city this size isn't going to have an Al Sharpton or a Jesse Jackson to keep the racial-resentment pot boiling, but we can always count on City Counilman Glynn Hines to play the race card. Last fall, Hynes went public with his "lack of trust" in the Henry administration because it wasn't diverse enough to suit him. Recently, the administration made two minority hires -- Palermo Galindo as its liaison to the immigrant community and Vince Robinson as the city's public information officer. All well and good, says Hines, but not good enough:
But to Hines, Robinson and Galindo just cancel out two minority department heads who were let go from the Richard administration.
He says the city still has a "ways to go."
[. . .]
Hines went on to say, "It's not a happy day for me. I'm happy for Vince but I think there are still issues that need to be addressed."
He can only play this game because people like Mayor Tom Henry keep throwing chips in and refuse to get up and just walk away from the table. The mayor reacted to Hines' reaction by saying that, while he is certainly committed to diversity, his focus will be on qualifications, not filling a quota:
"It's not always easy to get as diverse a cabinet as you want, especially when you're looking for quality people," said Henry. "
What transparently absurd doubletalk. If you want diversity, you can focus on that and achieve it, and you might get some of the most qualified people available as a side effect. If you want to get the best people possible, you can do that, and you might get some diversity as a side effect. Saying you're commited to both is either naive or dishonest or both.
I can't comment on whether Palermo Galindo was a good hire or not, but I've known Vince Robinson for quite a while. He has worked for Fort Wayne Newspapers and WANE-TV, and he's published his own newspaper, so he's certainly well-versed on the media aspect of the PIO's job. And it happens that he's already had the job, with the Richard administration. You'd have to look far and wide to find somebody more qualified than Vince for the position.
That's what we should be talking about, but we're talking about his race instead. That would seem to diminish the importance of his efforts and accomplishments. But it's not about him, it's about Glynn Hines not having a happy day.