Why are we hearing this right now?



Granderson: City council members’ recording isn’t just offensive. It’s also illuminating on race

The city is not using the recordings to support its hiring practices. It is using the recordings to bolster the case it is making against the hiring practices of its own union.

“I want to know if the person is not qualified, why not give them a chance to come back and do the job?” council member Steve Hall said.

The recordings were obtained in response to a public records request in the city’s litigation against the city’s largest labor union. The union filed a lawsuit last week against the city in which it requested all documents and recordings relating to the city’s hiring practices, which it said violated its terms. Those documents and recordings are the subject of Hall’s lawsuit.

As of Thursday morning, the lawsuit had been scheduled for a July 3 hearing.

All of which begs the question: Why are we hearing this right now?

Why are all of these records made public? For one thing, the city is being sued. And for another it could be seen as a means to counterbalance Hall’s suit.

That makes sense. Hall’s suit is the more explosive and could get the headlines. The city’s lawsuit is a much more routine affair, and can be filed in a manner that allows the documents and recordings to be released sooner without the attention and drama of a major public meeting or controversy.

But here’s the real reason: There’s an interesting story that can be told in the transcripts.

Recall that when Hall was on council, he made a public comment which was not welcome by the union, and he was subsequently asked about it by Channel 6’s Bob Norman, who was in the hot seat while the union was suing him.

The recordings show that Hall had an interesting response to Norman, including a response that’s both

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