Thursday, October 30, 2003

Porn for pistols candidate bares all

Californians had a goofy election to replace the governor they threw out, Gray Davis. I was thrilled to find a South Florida connection. Of the 132 candidates, perhaps the very goofiest was one of this area's own.


Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Edition: Palm Beach Section: LOCAL Page: 1B

Mary Carey, a part-time resident of South Florida who is running for governor of California, is behind in the polls. Still, she sees her campaign so far as a success.

"I've shown that just because I have blonde hair ... and do porn, doesn't mean I am not smart," she said.

She has shown a definite genius for publicity. One of the 132 people on the ballot in Tuesday's election to replace California Gov. Gray Davis, should he be voted out of office, Carey is inevitably singled out for mention as the field's 23-year-old porn star.

While not the only film actor in the running, she is the only candidate whose credits include Double D Dolls 3, Hot Showers 6, Sweatin' It 7 and Decadent Divas 18.

As if that makes the election out there weird, or something.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Waving that Confederate flag

One sure way to engender angry reader reaction is to criticize the Confederate flag. Every time, I was inundated with enraged and footnote-studded letters and emails from Georgia, Tennessee, Texas - the whole Old South. Not that it stopped me.


Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Edition: Palm Beach Section: LOCAL Page: 1B

"The past is never dead," William Faulkner wrote. "It's not even past."

All his writing life, the Nobel laureate from Mississippi grappled with the legacies of his native South.

Faulkner didn't write much about Florida. But he would have appreciated a couple of recent news items.

First off, Martin Luther King III explored conditions in Belle Glade over the weekend and concluded that a long history of second-class treatment and intimidation shaped that black community's perceptions of a controversial hanging.

King, who heads the Southern Christian Leadership Conference co-founded by his illustrious father, talked to residents and leaders of the western Palm Beach County town, where inequalities between whites and blacks almost outdate the sugar cane in the surrounding fields.

Today, in fact, marks the 75th anniversary of the horrendous flood of 1928, where even death followed the pecking order. Almost 700 black victims from the Lake Okeechobee area were buried in a mass unmarked grave in West Palm Beach -- while 69 whites were interred with the dignity of individual grave markers.

As King found out, blacks in Belle Glade still fume over a paucity of economic opportunity (black unemployment is seven times greater than that of whites). There's a persistent distrust of local authorities (though the mayor is black, the police chief and most of the force are white).

"People have been consistently living under a state of fear," King said. "Whether it's realistic or not, it's realistic to them. Historically, people are concerned about intimidation. They say, `If I come and tell the police, then I'm going to be harassed by police.'"

This could have been his father talking 40 years ago in Selma or Montgomery.

A public inquest in July persuaded most people that Feraris "Ray" Golden's death on May 28 was a suicide.

But, according to King, the intimidation factor kept some people from coming forward with evidence supporting suspicions Golden was lynched.

King called for further investigation.

Because the racial history of Belle Glade won't go away, neither will the uneasiness over Golden's death.