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Gene Royer

Gene Royer is a staunch conservative. He is also a Policy Governance ® consultant and writer. He is the author of School Board Leadership 2000 - The Things Staff Didn't Tell You At Orientation and his international practice is based in Houston

    by Gene Royer

    October 27, 2003

    A very funny thing happened to me last week at the homeowners' association board meeting:

    I had the floor and was making a recommendation that the board hire my good friend and neighbor Steve to do their audit this coming year.  You may recall from past articles that Steve is the large Negro man who lives behind me. He is a fine CPA; and for a hobby, he raises rottweilers and trains them to attack anything white.

    (I save all my old steel-belted radials for the lovely dogs to play with)

    As part of my presentation, I addressed Steve's qualifications and the length of time I've known him, and so forth.  And as a sidebar, I said that he was very large and had a booming voice like James Earl Ray.  Well, of course, it was a silly slip of the tongue because I intended to say James Earl Jones.  I was not immediately aware of my gaffe until I noticed that many on the board smiled as I continued my talk.

    The board voted to consider my recommendation; and after adjournment, the Chairman took me aside and told me that my remark had offended Mrs Jackson, the newest member.  He suggested that I go to her and personally apologize.

    I burst out laughing at my own mindless mistake and declined, of course, because the remark had no ill intent and was purely an unintended misappropriation of words.  And besides, I do not believe in pandering to people because of their thin skin--regardless of the color their skin might be.

    "No way am I going to apologize," I said.

    And as I walked away, I told him over my shoulder that I know perfectly well the difference between the two men.  "James Earl Jones is the brilliant Hollywood actor, and James Earl Ray is the man who shot Rodney King."

    ęGene Royer 1998

    © 2003 Tocqevillian Magazine