Monday, September 24, 2007

The Picayune plunges into the at-large council race and addresses head-on the issue of race. Historically, one at-large council-person has been white and the other black. With Oliver Thomas gone, that balance might end.

A Mr. Banks, a leader of disgraced councilman Oliver Thomas' political organization BOLD, says, "I hope race is a factor and I hope the makeup of the council in on voter's minds, because this is a diverse community and we need diverse leadership."

Helpfully, the Picayune shows photos of the top five contenders on the front page. I wish I could show them to you, but it's not online. How would you arrange the photos? Alphabetical by last name? That would be my neutral choice. The Picayune decided it made more sense to group the candidates by race. Up top, we have the two whites--Boulet and Brechtel Clarkson. Below, we have the top black contenders--Vassel, Bajoie and Willard-Lewis.

Just because some people believe race is the most important character of each candidate, it doesn't mean the paper has to adopt this.

What I couldn't figure out at first is how they organized the black candidates. After staring at the photos for a while, I had to conclude that the blacks are arranged from darkest (Vassel) to lightest (Willard-Lewis).

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