Richardson’s latest blathering not surprising in the least

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, July 21, 2009

By Staff
Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson’s latest foray into Archie Bunkerland raised nary an eyebrow in Beaufort County.
Though his public use of the word “wetback” in the board’s meeting last week and in subsequent interviews riled many, it surprised virtually no one.
Most of you probably remember Archie Bunker — the bombastic, homophobic bigot played so convincingly by Carroll O’Connor on the 1970s television show “All in the Family.”
Bunker’s outrageously ignorant spoutings were so commonplace that at times they failed to surprise any of the show’s other characters. Richardson’s taken a page out of Bunker’s book in his incessant effort to keep his constituents satisfied.
It’s called groping for publicity and votes, and that’s all Richardson really seems to care about. Grandstanders rarely aspire to anything but self-gratification, and that sums up Richardson’s role on the county board.
It’s a game, really, and Richardson plays it quite well. That’s how he’s gotten his name into this editorial … but, alas, some things we just can’t let go.
It seems difficult to fathom how Richardson gets away with his Bunkeresque views — until you remember his goal: staying in office. Comments from Commissioner Stan Deatherage, Richardson’s closest ally on the board, reveal much about Richardson’s operating style.
“My feeling is Hood is famous for using language that his constituents feel comfortable in understanding, especially when he references other data signifying why he uses some of the terms he uses, such as Operation Wetback, initiated in 1954,” Deatherage said in a recent interview.
Feel comfortable in understanding?
Richardson’s constituents wouldn’t understand the terms “illegal alien” or “undocumented worker?”
He had to use the term “wetback” for his adoring throngs to get the point?
Publicity, folks, that’s all it is — no substance or community concern behind it.
Though more-reasonable commissioners often overrule him in the final vote, Richardson frequently manages to dominate the debate — and fuel the public’s jaded perception of most county commission meetings.
And this is indeed a sad reflection on Beaufort County and all the people who want to see it progress.