I've been listening to talk radio all morning and it truly is striking to listen to callers and hosts vehemently defend Head's "Wal-Mart" email. The apologists seem to be adhering mostly to a chickenshit defense which holds that we shouldn't be discussing the details of Ms. Head's supposedly personal email missives. Leaving aside the point that none of these folk have stood for a similar chickenshit defense of the Mayor's innumerable offensive/idiotic off-the-cuff statements, one wonders why Ms. Head doesn't have the common sense to keep her personal commentary off of her professional email system. Most of us, I'm sure, can and have generated our share of misspelled and poorly grammared irreverent humor via personal email, Facebook, blogs, whatever. I daresay most of us understand the value of keeping that sort of thing out of our professional communications.... or at least keeping what humor appears there relatively tasteful. So, no, I don't think we can say that these communications are off-limits.
Having taken pains to explain why we are allowed to discuss this public document we ask, what does this email tell us? The one which reads:
Pisses me off 100 percent of the time. I have been shopping carefully, looking at the per serving cost of all items. This chick in front of me is buying pre made croissant and egg, canned soups, solft driinks, pre made beef pattie (who eats that???), pre made RICE KRISPYs!!! Precut sweet potatos (didn't know those existed) and is payong with a food stamp card. I am voting for the freak mccain and his trash bag vp. I am sick of it.
It tells us that Stacy Head is exactly what we've always suspected she is. She is a perfect representative of the mean "Let's concern ourselves with what someone else might not deserve in comparison to me" mentality that typifies the paranoid white political mindset of the post-Reagan era and continues to quite accurately describe the attitude held by the majority of white New Orleans voters... be they Yuppie pseudo-liberals who live in the gentrifying city or suburban conservatives. I suppose as a house-flipping lawyer Ms. Head feels more connected to the Yuppie-lefties and this is why she is a "Democrat" City Councilperson. But if she ever decides to play martyr, move to suburbia, and jump into Jefferson Parish politics, those people will make her a Senator someday.
Now I understand that there has already been and will continue to be some discussion as to whether or not Head's petty class hatred needs to be classified as explicitly racist. I think it can be but is equally offensive regardless. It was reported on WWL radio (albeit by the fact-averse Bob Delgiorno) that Head or someone speaking for her claims that the shopper in question was a white person. (Or as the T-P might print it, Head is white. "Chick in front of me" is white.) I don't see why it makes a difference. It still means that Head is "pissed off 100 percent of the time" at food stamp purchases she might disapprove of. Stacy feel that her accomplishments in the field of "shopping carefully" entitle her to being "pissed off" that someone using a food stamp card can't even make the effort to follow her example. It's the same way, one imagines, that her accomplishments in other respects place her above the "trash bag" VP candidate she is threatening to vote for in a fit of oddly misplaced outrage. And still, it strains credulity that Ms. Head would attempt to make this (tasteless) joke about voting against Obama unless the woman she was complaining about was black. Maybe she was being ironic or something... but that certainly wasn't evident from the tone of her message. But then again after reading so many countless numbers of NOLA.com comments carrying Ms. Head's sentiments, I may have lost my ability to detect the subtleties.