Dallas Commissioners trade racially-charged words... again




Posted on May 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 1 at 8:28 PM

DALLAS — There was another racially-charged battle of words between Dallas County Commissioners John Wiley Price and Maurine Dickey on Tuesday.

They are often on opposite sides of the ring, trading insults. But at the weekly Commissioners' Court meeting, their harsh words erupted anew with racial fireworks.

The discussion about the county's computer security policy started calmly, with Commissioner Mike Cantrell — who has a law degree — making a legal point until Commissioner Price piped in.

"What law school did you go to?" Price asked.

"SMU," Cantrell replied.

Then Dickey interjected: "Well, as long as we have the pot calling the kettle African-American, talking about the law..."

With Price looking stunned by Dickey's sudden modification of the old cliché on hypocrisy, Dickey held up a brochure and said Price should know county property can't be used for his campaign under the law.

"Evidently, county paper and copying machines are being used for a 'meet and greet your county commissioner,'" Dickey said.

Price said the fund-raising brochure is from a Mesquite group that asked him to stop by, and is unrelated to his campaign. He said a county employee just wanted to copy it.

"Does it say 'campaign'?" Price asked. "Does it say 'meet and greet your new commissioner'?"

"I don't know that we usually have saxophonists at our county business, but y'know, things can change," Dickey said, referring to the brochure.

The friction between the two that has flared for months continued after the meeting, with Price reacting to Dickey's pot-and-kettle remark.

"But it's probably the core of her racism," Price told News 8. "It's a typical racist a**."

Dickey later explained she avoids using the word "black" around Price.

"In the Commissioners' Court, 'black' is considered an unpleasant term," Dickey said. "Commissioner Price doesn't like that, and I was trying to make a point about hypocrisy. Anybody that knows me knows that I am absolutely not a racist."

Dickey and Price serve together until January, with a red-hot summer ahead.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com