The NAACP hosts the very first debate of the 2011 general mayoral election of Las Vegas. Carolyn Goodman, wife of the current mayor of Las Vegas, faced off against Chris Giunchigliani, who currently serves as a Clark County Commissioner.
Things got ugly today at the NAACP Las Vegas mayoral debate when the questions started coming in from the community.
Delen Goldberg at the Las Vegas Sun reported the following:
Goodman received the harshest criticism for wearing a Kente cloth scarf featuring African colors. It was widely seen as pandering to the black crowd.
One audience member called her on it.
"Did you wear African garb to pander to us?" the woman asked.
"That is so insulting," Goodman replied. "This was a gift to me. I wore this to honor you with a gift I was honored with."
Goodman also invoked the name of City Councilman Ricki Barlow four times, describing him as a friend and ally. Barlow is black, which raised more accusations of pandering, but he also represents the neighborhoods Goodman talked about.
What this report doesn’t describe is the condescending tone Carolyn Goodman had as she snarled at this African American woman. In addition, Delen probably missed what happened inside the room after the debate was over. The member of the audience who asked the African garb question went over to Carolyn Goodman to express regret if her question had come across as offensive, and to reaffirm that it was not her intention. Carolyn Goodman proceeded to put her hand in the woman’s face (talk to the hand) and could only mutter that she was highly offended.
No one can honestly say that Chris Giunchigliani would ever dream of talking to people that way. This is a clear distinction between the two. Earlier she said her door is always open. Apparently not.