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July 23, 2006

What is racist?

Columnist Lewis Diuguid certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest when he wrote about the slogan “Eenie. Meenie. Minie. Moe.” on a Boulevard Brewing Co. billboard.
Most interesting was Marie Harden’s letter (7/17) which asserted that Mr. Diuguid was racist because he continually reminded us that certain language was offensive to black people.
What about others who complain about offensive language? The National Organization for Women is full of chauvinist pigs because it objects to sexism? B’nai B’rith is anti-Semitic because it is on the watch for anti-Semitic speech? Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays are a bunch of homophobes because they warn us about gay-bashing?
If you are going to criticize Mr. Diuguid, please use the English language properly. The word “racist” should be reserved for people who believe that certain racial groups are inferior to other groups.
Steve Simon



ok, Mr Diuguid might not exactly be a racist, but he sure can find ways to cry about how people aren't treating minorities in the most respectful and kind ways. The annoying thing is that some people get tired of hearing about racism when the issue is really not that big a deal. eenie meeny miny moe? Come on. I grew up with the more politically correct version. Only people who lived through severe racist oppression or people who are really racist would even know the difference. I think that the fact the rhyme has lost it's meaning speaks to the idea that a majority of our population has strayed away from being racist.


I have come to believe that the term "racism" is mainly used by those upset about whose bread is getting buttered.

When I was called into my superior's office at the hospital I used to work for and told, "Don't apply for this job. We're going to hire a black." It wasn't "racism" but "affirmative action".

If, on the other hand, I would have been promoted into the postion I had worked so hard to get, it would not have been "merit promotion". It would have been "racism".

Simple really. If a member of a selected "minority" comes out on the long end it is because they are more deserving. If a person of the designated "majority" comes out on the long end it is "racism".


Jeff - just another example of the type of illogic that makes it into the letters page regularly.

Jeff H

A correction:
The American Heritage Dictionary (c 2000) defines racist as:

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Mr. Simon makes an odd jump that indicates a misunderstanding of the term. He compares calling Mr. Diuguid racist to calling NOW chauvenist pigs, B'nai B'rith anti-Semitic, and PFLAG homophobic. The problem is that Mr. Simon seems to equate "racist" as stictly directed at denigrating black people when the fact is, you can be racist against any ethnic group. You cannot, on the other hand, be anti-Semitic to non-Semites or homophobic against heterosexuals. (You *can* be either a female or male chauvinist, though many just automatically equate "chauvinist pigs" with men, the assumption technically being an form of prejudice itself).

I am not in any way saying that Mr. Diuguid IS racist, I'm just clarifying a misconception Mr. Simon promulgates in his letter.

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