Congratulations, Miss Plantation!

Words have denotations — their dictionary definitions — and connotations, the significance they acquire by usage and context. “Plantation” originally denoted a commercial agricultural operation, but the word has acquired historical associations that affect its connotation.

At any rate, Plantation is the name of a city in Broward County, Fla., and the winner of the local beauty pageant is therefore Miss Plantation and . . .

Plantation Teen First
Black Pageant Winner

PLANTATION, FLORIDA- 16-year-old Archbishop McCarthy High School student Aubrey West is making history as the first black female to win the Miss Plantation Outstanding Teen pageant and is in the running to be only the second black female to ever win the Miss Florida Teen pageant. In her first pageant ever, Aubrey wowed Miss Plantation judges by playing classical and jazz piano and took home the title. Her win is a big break in the pageant world for young African-American teenagers who once were shunned from entering the coveted Miss Florida pageant series.
“I am proud to have this title,” West said. “I hope to be an inspiration for girls of all races.”
Aubrey is an honor student and holds a 3.5 grade point average. . . .

That’s from a press release I received today. I get so many press releases, I don’t even read most of them, but that headline was what folks in the news business call a “grabber.”

Being the diligent researcher I am, the coincidence of the surname “West” and “Florida” in a press release caused me to do a quick Google search that brought me to the campaign Web site of FL-22 Republican congressional candidate, Lt. Col. Allen West:

Excellence is a West family tradition. His wife, Angela, holds an MBA and PhD. and works as a financial planner. His oldest daughter, Aubrey, attends Archbishop McCarthy HS and his youngest daughter, Austen, attends Parkway Christian School.

Excellence, indeed! I called Mrs. West, who explained the history of the name of their town, founded in he 20th century without any apparent thought to connotation. Mrs. West also told me that for the talent portion of Saturday’s competition, Aubrey will perform a piano medley of “Maple Leaf Rag” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

Then I spoke to the proud father. I covered his 2008 campaign against Democrat Rep. Ron Klein. West updated me on his 2010 campaign plans. Klein has voted for TARP, the stimulus, cap-and-trade and all the rest of Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, so that West now calls Klein “Pelosi’s puppet.”

Congratulations to Aubrey and best wishes in Saturday’s pageant. To borrow her father’s campaign slogan: Go West!

Update, Special Political Correctness Note: by Smitty
As a service for our Rhode Island readers, use of the “P” word in this post is explicitly not intended to inflame any shame or sorrow you might be feeling concerning the full name of your state.
Slavery undeniably sucked, but it is completely unclear exactly how the shameful modern contortions of some affect the past in any positive way.

Update II: by Smitty
Still more field work on the “P” word.


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