Dallas County Constable Beth Villareal is in the middle of a tough reelection bid. She knows this. You can tell she knows because she sued challenger Susan Lopez-Craig because her name was too Hispanic.
It would seem prudent, then, at least until the March 4 primary, for Villareal to avoid doing dumb things that her opponents can use as ammunition against her. Like appearing in her constable uniform in a third-rate "Christian/inspirational" rapper's music video. Yet here she is in a still from the shoot for Harmini's "If I Go Away."
Her cameo didn't make the cut for the 45-second "music video trailer" Harmini posted to YouTube over the weekend, though a couple of her deputies do. We expect to see more of her when the full video is released on Christmas Day.[jump]
There are several questions that can be raised here. For example:
-Is it appropriate for law enforcement officials to don their official uniforms for an entertainment production?
-Should a public officeholder be endorsing an artist with an overtly Christian message ("May Harmini's gifts bring you ever closer to Jesus!" his website says)?
-What the hell is the constabulary doing taking part in what appears to be a multi-jurisdictional, SWAT-style operation? Shouldn't they be serving eviction notices?
We'll set those aside until we hear back from Villareal or Harmini, both of whom we've asked for comment. Until then, we'll focus on the more important question: Is it wise to cast a vote for someone who associates herself with this guy?
If Saturday Night Live had a white-Christian-rapper character, it would be Harmini. The self-seriousness. The bombast. The cornrows. This appearance on Denton Community Television's Time With Theresa. This Jesus-versus-Satan poster for the "World at War Rap Tour." It's all amazing.
We're not saying any of this should disqualify Villareal from returning as Precinct 5's Constable. It's just something voters should keep in mind when they head to the ballot box.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.