“I was mistreated. Not only me, but my entire heritage….If Marion Barry was a white person and I was a black person, there would be riots in the streets right now.”
—Ximena Hartsock, parks and recreation director, Oct. 10
Warring between Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and the D.C. Council reached its apex on Oct. 6, when legislators voted down Hartsock’s nomination as parks-and-rec director. Fenty and top aides had done little to whip their votes ahead of time, but afterward, the blitz was on. Hartsock wasn’t shy about retroactively playing the race card, emboldened by ugly rhetoric on display at a prior hearing on the nomination—including Barry’s declaration that majority-black Washington needs “someone who understands our culture.” But the jawing of Latino activists wasn’t enough to get Hartsock her job back.