The Washington Times - January 20, 2009, 02:59PM

Mink coats may be politically incorrect in some circles, but on a 20-degree day spent outdoors, there is nothing warmer. That’s why many, many minks were spotted all over town.

Katrina Chalmers of Memphis, and her mother, Lucille Seymour, were in the crowd yesterday, wearing  full-length coats. Ms. Chalmers had a female mink coat, along with mink earmuffs and a faux-fur hat. Ms. Seymour wore a leather coat with a fox lining.

“The hat is fake, but it is warm.” said Ms. Chalmers.

It is the real fur that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals objects to, says Ingrid Newkirk, president of the organization. She says one can be warm without wearing animals.

“The Mount Everest expeditions don’t use fur,” she said. “Fur isn’t the badge of having arrived anymore. It is the badge of not having a heart, and the Inauguration is a time to show that you are warm on the inside and out.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Seymour, 69, reflected on the civil rights struggle. She was living in Mempghis when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. She says she never thought she would see a black president in her lifetime, but it is not color that makes her a fan of Barack Obama.

“It is not because he is the first black president,” she says. “It is because he has a heart for the people.  With the unity he is bringing, we will see change. It has to be bout the people, not about the greed of the rich man.”

- Karen Goff