God knows there were plenty of events and people to choose from for the weekly Stupid Thing of the Week. Locally, the school board went along with Supt. Gorman’s idea to gut one of CMS’ most successful programs – and did it at the last meeting of the board’s current line-up; needless to say, the new board will start reconsidering the moves at their first meeting. Nationally, Carrie Prejean got all pissy on Larry King Live; singer Fergie let everyone know she’s bi but her husband is well-endowed; Lou Dobbs quit his job at CNN and said he’d been hounded by a mob mentality, “similar to what we saw in Italy in the 1930s” (you might want to re-read your history, Lou, and maybe stop the pity party); a beaver on CBS’ The Early Show peed in the announcer’s face; Sarah Palin went on Oprah and dissed the people who’d chosen her to run for VP in the first place; and Sammy Sosa revealed he’s been using a skin lightener for some damned reason.
But for sheer tone-deaf cluelessness – which is always a plus when you're vying for Stupid Thing of the Week – you can’t beat our winner, Ian Campbell, a re-enactor and tour guide at Latta Plantation Park. Campbell, an African-American history buff who has devoted a lot of time to bringing history to life at the park, was giving a tour to about 60 fifth-graders from Rea View Elementary in Waxhaw when who did he pick to represent plantation slaves? Why, the only three African American students in the group, of course! Kids were humiliated (and in fifth grade, that’s huge), parents were enraged, and school administrators vowed never to send their kids back to Latta. It doesn’t appear that Campbell meant any harm, but again, a history buff being that clueless about race relations is kind of mind-boggling.