I know you are, but what am I?

The Smoking Gun, an online repository of interesting documents and celebrity booking photos...

Richard Riordan

The Smoking Gun, an online repository of interesting documents and celebrity booking photos, has posted a videotape of an exchange between California Education Commissioner Richard Riordan and a little girl that ignited calls for his resignation. The background: During a meeting with children at a Santa Barbara library, a girl named Isis asked if Riordan knew the meaning of her name. The former mayor of Los Angeles playfully suggested "stupid dirty girl." The children and Riordan respond with a a drawn out "Nooooo."

"I'm outraged," Assemblyman Merv Dymally told the San Jose Mercury News. "The governor in my mind should ask for his resignation." Throwing a racial twist into the debate, he added: "And I have to inject: This was a little African-American girl. Would he have done that to a white girl?"

Another question might be whether the assemblyman would demand Riordan's job if the girl were white. The answer is apparently "no." Upon learning that the girl is indeed white, Dymally dropped the resignation demand...and canceled a news conference that was to be held with civil rights representatives, the Merc reported.

Tech Culture
About the author

CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.


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