For a number of people in my hometown, "it" isn't racism if "it" doesn't entail some violent act. Sort of like the white girl who confided to me years ago, when my cousin J was dating a white boy, that she just didn't understand why he would date J when he could have a white girl. Or how my high school let black cheerleaders ride the bus with the all-black boy's basketball team, but the white cheerleaders had to be chauffered to games because "it wouldn't look right." I could regale you with stories like that all night, but I digress.
The reason I'm thinking about my hometown mayor, is because I read this: Louisiana Mayor's Death Sparks Controversy. Gerald Washington, the new black mayor of a mostly-white town, was found shot to death and the coroner has ruled it a suicide.
But the coroner and the sheriff have offered no reason for why Washington would have killed himself. No suicide note was found. And there is no evidence he bade farewell to anyone, put his financial affairs in order, or gave any other indication he was about to kill himself, authorities said.In fact, Washington seemed to be readying himself for his new job:
About noon, he set City Hall's alarm system for the first time. He got instructions on how to raise and lower the U.S. flag. He had already ordered a new mayoral letterhead with his name on it and a button-down shirt embroidered "Gerald Washington, Mayor."Apparently, the coroner wishes people would just get over these damned unfounded conspiracy theories!
A few hours later he indulged in a hobby, placing a $4 bet at a nearby horse racing track.
"This is the South, so of course everybody's going to say it was some white guy shooting a black guy," said Dr. Terry Welke, the Calcasieu Parish coroner who ruled that Washington killed himself.Now why in the world would we think something like that?