WHAT WE NEED MORE OF IS SCIENCE  11:36 am July 10, 2008

Astronomy Is Racist

by Sara K. Smith

On Monday some Dallas County commissioners were talking about problems processing traffic tickets, and this one commissioner said central collections “has become a black hole.” Not one but two of his fellow officials demanded an apology for his racially insensitive remark. Oh goodness! A lot of the commentary on this blog post about the incident is pretty foul, but our hat’s off to “Don Imus,” who writes, “It’s not like they called it a nappy-headed hole. Now THAT would be outrageous.” [Dallas City Hall Blog]

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sanantonerose July 10, 2008 at 11:41 am

Another example: Russ Feingold (D-Sexytown) commenting that the FISA bill vote was a “black mark” on the Democrats, the Congress, and our whole nation’s history. That’s not racial transcendence, Russ. Come to my house so I can give you a proper spanking. I have a cheese board.

Larry Fine July 10, 2008 at 11:44 am

This is why the govment needs to enforce repamarations.

SayItWithWookies July 10, 2008 at 11:45 am

Is Texas in the Dark Ages? These blackguards shouldn’t darken the door of City Hall any longer, for truly their ignorance casts a long shadow.

ManchuCandidate July 10, 2008 at 11:47 am

Neil deGrasse Tyson sez: “What you talking ’bout, dumbass?”

johnbpt July 10, 2008 at 11:47 am

Yeah, and I’ve been meaning to talk to y’all about that “blackmail” thingy. Not cool, not cool.

snig July 10, 2008 at 11:47 am

Jeez, there’s also white dwarfs, red dwarfs, yellow stars, gas giants. Insensitive to albinos, people of lessened stature, native americans, asians, and the flatulently flagrant outsizers.

Serolf Divad July 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

Wait… isn’t that a sexist comment?

Truculent July 10, 2008 at 11:52 am

A black mark against Dallas to be sure.

KevoTron July 10, 2008 at 11:53 am

Sounds like more of a “butt hole”. And with that juvenile insult I have changed my avatar.

NotNotLickingToads July 10, 2008 at 11:53 am

Apparently Disney was racist all along…


Oh wait…bad analogy…

I suppose Soundgarden was just a bunch of KKK agents, spreading their hate to the pop airwaves…

WadISay July 10, 2008 at 11:53 am

You would think that John Wiley Price and the Dallas News commenters could join hands and find common ground in being dumbasses.

Serolf Divad July 10, 2008 at 11:54 am

On second thought, Price should probably have shot back with: no, sir… I submit to you that it has become a white dwarf!

Doglessliberal July 10, 2008 at 11:54 am

[re=32875]snig[/re]: Gas giant is offensive to Mark Penn.

AfghanVet July 10, 2008 at 11:54 am

[re=32873]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Bravo…great reference! My kids love him.

“Why’s it got to be called a “black” hole”?

Well, because it is a point in space so dense that light cannot escape.

“Oh, so now it’s about oppression.”

Forget it…

AxmxZ July 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

Blacklist the commissioner!

Botswana Meat Commission FC July 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

From the comments:
I had to move out of Dallas County because I couldn’t order coffee or keep my finances on the positive side of the ledger without JWP freaking out and ripping my windshield wiper off of my truck which happens to be black.

I have no idea what this is about, but consider me intrigued.

WhatTheHeck July 10, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Unknown fact; many Afro-Europeans died during the Plagues of Black Death.
Hence the name.

Botswana Meat Commission FC July 10, 2008 at 12:03 pm

In this guy’s defense, imagine how angry you’d be all damn day long if you had to constantly deal with white people from Texas.

gurukalehuru July 10, 2008 at 12:04 pm

The comment was offensive to holes.

PrairiePossum July 10, 2008 at 12:05 pm


The Commissioner should have called the traffic ticket processing center “a point in space so dense that light cannot escape.”

HHMMMM, doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. I hate political correctness.

The Commissioner should have just called them “a bunch of worthless dumbfucks.”

Lascauxcaveman July 10, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Michelle Obama resplendent in “basic black.” An oxymoron?

tunamelt July 10, 2008 at 12:05 pm

[re=32875]snig[/re]: Blue giants are prejudiced against the oxygen deprived?

jagorev July 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

You know what really hurts me? When people refer to unpleasant folks as “dicks” or “pricks”. What did my member ever do to merit such comparisons? Not all penises are obnoxious or annoying, you know. Some can be rather charming and fun to hang out with.

tunamelt July 10, 2008 at 12:08 pm

[re=32901]tunamelt[/re]: Or really tall smurfs.

I Am Not Your Gary Busey July 10, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Dang, I was all ready to send this in to the tip line on Tuesday, but I was like “naw, why would they care about our local shenanigans?” Dang, dang, dang…
That’s the third most awesome story out of Dallas politics just this year (and it’s only July!)
1st – Former city councilwoman and Dem. precinct captain makes off with the caucus results to “correct” them when her girl Hills gets beat by Hopey. Declares she’s going to Denny’s to do so, takes off while being tailed by poll watchers from both campaigns and winds up banging on the door of the nearest police station saying they’re out to get her! Weeks of rambly blog posts and media screeds ensue.
2nd – Crooked-ass DART board chairwoman & her crooked-ass husband go down in a blaze of glory over… emails?
3rd – John Wiley Price (the reigning King of Ka-razzay) and his astro-physically challenged self.

Dallas, bless our hearts, we put Detroit & DC to shame!

MoodProcessor July 10, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I b’leev the quote was, “Central Collections is tricky, like a black ho.”

uncletravelingmatt July 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I was momentarily sidetracked by the banner at the top asking “Why do men withdraw?” After reading the story and a few of the comments, the answer seemed pretty obvious. I love blog synergy.

Dave J. July 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm

While we’re at it, why do they sell green olives in a jar, but black olives in a tin can? Think about it.

queeraselvis v 2.0 July 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Another commenter called the participants in the fracas “intellectual pygmies.” Oooh, racist and heightist! NICE.

NotNotLickingToads July 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

[re=32896]Botswana Meat Commission FC[/re]: Clearly this ignorance is the result of growing up in a state ran by the kind of idgits who think that teaching bible in science class is a good idea.

Fear of a Black Reagan July 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

This just confirms my mother-in-law’s fear that Obama is making the mulignans get out of control…

On the other hand, she’s against astronomy too.

Fear of a Black Reagan July 10, 2008 at 12:18 pm

[re=32900]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: Michelle? There’s nothing “basic” about *that* black.


shortsshortsshorts July 10, 2008 at 12:19 pm

What? Is he wrong?

Q2 July 10, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Get the fuck outta here! No way!

Q2 July 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I see a red door and I want it painted the opposite of white (if that’s ok with youuuuu)
No colors anymore I want them to turn the opposite of white (if that’s ok with youuuuu)
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my color the opposite of whiteness goes

I see a line of cars and they’re all painted of white if that’s ok with youuuuu
With flowers and my love both never to come back…

Q2 July 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Commissioner John Wiley Price is one of those Americans who does not know what is the capital of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros Islands.

Doglessliberal July 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm

[re=32923]Q2[/re]: You beat me to it. I’ve had this song in my head since I read this post and was trying to think of a witty comment (assuming I am capable of witty comments).

RaptorAvatar July 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm

This reminds me of a lost “Horse Apples” joke from Wonder Showzen. In all honesty, though, what worries me (as a white dude) is the night sky. All those little white dots with all that black around them. That is what Obama will turn America into.
[re=32899]PrairiePossum[/re]: Then the fatz would have problem with him.
[re=32902]jagorev[/re]: I have the same issue with the perjorative use of “asshole.” It’s a useful thing; without it, one would have to either vomit or sweat shit in order to not go toxic with one’s own waste.

ForeignSickSpecialist July 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm

And I thought the dude who got pissed at the use of “niggardly” was stupid. This does underscore the radiancy of Bush’s NCLB Act which was hatched by the brilliant minds of the Texas school systems… which is a blackass hole, not to be confused with the black asshole who was upset about the use of the term “black hole.”

Q2 July 10, 2008 at 12:34 pm

You are the Buddha of witty comment [re=32928]Doglessliberal[/re]. I bow to you…and pay obeisance.

snig July 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Speaking of Astronomical Ignorance, forgive a snippet of Wiki:

However, the most widely known version appears in Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time, which starts:
“ A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

freakishlystrong July 10, 2008 at 12:37 pm

“Cornhole” maybe..

douchenheimer July 10, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Municipal Government:
Chocked full of retards you wouldn’t trust to run the lemonade stand outside your house.

Harvey Birdman July 10, 2008 at 12:40 pm

…and yet Limp Bizkit said “Chocolate Starfish” with immunity.

[re=32896]Botswana Meat Commission FC[/re]: Fo’ realz. They make me want to bump some BDP.

Q2 July 10, 2008 at 12:40 pm

“In all honesty, though, what worries me (as a white dude) is the night sky. All those little white dots with all that black around them. That is what Obama will turn America into.”

It’s all in the interpretation [re=32929]RaptorAvatar[/re]: I see a nurturing warm blanket of blackness, protecting the white baby lights who possess all the monergy. Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect irony.

Servo July 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Perhaps Commissioner Mayfield should have called central collections a singularity.

Brutus Harlot July 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm

We all need to replace every reference to black with “the absence of color.” For example, I ordered pens the other day at work, and wrote down “one box blue ink and one box the absence of color ink.”

I also ordered caucasian-out.

sanantonerose July 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!

Q2 July 10, 2008 at 12:48 pm

[re=32942]Brutus Harlot[/re]: This is interesting. The Caucasian House? The Absence of Color House?

anabellum July 10, 2008 at 12:50 pm

this is nothing compared to the recent ruling of the Texas Supreme Court which made it legal for church members to kidnap and hold those they think are possessed…for exorcism…


ForeignSickSpecialist July 10, 2008 at 12:56 pm

[re=32942]Brutus Harlot[/re]: Def: Black is the lack of all colors of light, or an exhaustive combination of multiple colors of pigment.

So the definition is not as black and white as you have portrayed. It depends on what the definition of “hole” is…

queeraselvis v 2.0 July 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm

[re=32957]anabellum[/re]: Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell Bobby Jindal!

Lorax July 10, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Hmm…maybe I’ve spent too much time with the DC City council, but sounds as if the real problem is that the Dallas staffing budget for central collections is far too niggardly.

MaskedRiderV3 July 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Great, just what we need… More idiots in the Government.
Gotta reverse the Polarity! Oops…

shortsshortsshorts July 10, 2008 at 1:02 pm

[re=32948]sanantonerose[/re]: Win.

populucious July 10, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Well thank God this incident didn’t occur in the state where 90% of our country’s school text books are printed….oh…wait…

Well, what does it matter if we never make it to Mars. Our racial trancedence will help us adjust to our new Chinese overlords.

KevoTron July 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm

[re=32902]jagorev[/re]: Yes, I know. Mine’s really quite charming. He’s always quoting T.S. Eliot and cracking wise about the latest Broadway show.

TGY July 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Oh, what the fuck *now*?

Let ‘em all shove it up the ‘event horizon’. (NB: the event horizon is formed when the radius of an object is less than the Schwarzschild radius, named after Karl Schwarzschild ‘black sign/child?’ Not related to the ‘black’ in ‘black hole’, but, you know, portentous. Ah, fuck it.)

Jason July 10, 2008 at 1:23 pm

[re=32875]snig[/re]: Dont’ forget the green giants or yellow moons and blue diamonds.

mephistopheles jefferson July 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm

[re=32968]Lorax[/re]: Damn you! I scrolled down the whole damn page and not one ‘niggardly’ until you popped up…you win this round.

jimh July 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Boy, I’ll bet that County Commissioner’s face is red!
Oh wait, sorry, Native American?

AfghanVet July 10, 2008 at 2:05 pm

[re=32953]Q2[/re]: Ummm, I don’t think so. I think, could be wrong, that white is a color which is the result of mixing the primary colors. Hence, the ability to separate “white” light into its component parts via refraction.

Lorax July 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm

[re=33035]mephistopheles jefferson[/re]: Sorry, man. Didn’t mean to cut your nuts off.

The Neoskeptic July 10, 2008 at 2:52 pm

[re=32918]Fear of a Black Reagan[/re]: i think you just had your macaca moment

Fear of a Black Reagan July 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm

[re=33200]The Neoskeptic[/re]: Thank god one of you clowns speaks Greaseball…

wonk_the_heck July 10, 2008 at 9:31 pm

it’s different depending if mixing light or pigment.
there are good black holes and bad black holes, relatively.

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