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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Race card does not need to be played

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I am so sick of people playing the "race card" in this country that I am at wit's end. In the most blatant and sickening example of this latest social cancer, the chairman of a Kansas City group that administers the Head Start funding is charging that racial bias prompted the federal government to rule against the agency in their salary dispute with the feds.

Here's the background. Dwayne Compton received more than $800,000 in salary and bonuses over the past three years as head of the local Head Start agency. When news of the exorbitant salary was uncovered, the federal government said the agency should pay back $456,000 of that amount as excessive pay far outside the guidelines for that position.

We've reported this financial fiasco in the past and have shared our views of this obvious abuse of federal dollars. Your damned tax dollars!

But here's the kicker that has me sick. David Westbrook, a spokesman for the agency that administers the Head Start money in Kansas City, has filed an appeal of the federal ruling. In that appeals he said: "This (the ruling against the high salary) is about discounting children and families. It's about finding a clever political reason to reject programs that benefit the poor and people of color and these are not people who voted for the current administration."

Well Mr. Westbrook, stick your attitude where the sun don't shine pal. This isn't about discounting children; it's about abusing taxpayer dollars with a lavish salary package that is the highest in the land. It's not a political decision, it's a prudent and just decision that speaks volumes about your true concerns for the poor and the others your agency serves.

Just by way of comparison, the salary is higher than the salary of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who heads all of the programs nationwide that the honorable Mr. Westbrook addresses.

Do you want to know why there is a racial gap in this nation? Well part of the problem is that when abuses are uncovered in such a blatant fashion, the first excuse is that the decision must have been based on race.

And stick this feather in your cap Mr. Westbrook. Windy Hill, associate commissioner of the national Head Start program, is the one who ultimately ruled against the $800,000 salary. Just to set the record straight, Ms. Hill is also black.

In this case Mr. Westbrook, your race card was trumped.

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