Post-Crescent Blog

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hitting for par

Given how our recent editorial on how racism is creeping into the illegal immigration debate generated an overwhelming amount of responses from people upset because they thought we called them racists, and the latest news that state elections ballots will be printed in multiple languages, which has bothered folks (we'll be printing a call about it tomorrow), I have an observation to make that you can take any which way you please.

Geoff Ogilvy won the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday. Ogilvy is from Australia.

A foreigner won a golf tournament named after our country. And I haven't heard one peep from anyone.

Could it be because he's white and speaks English (albeit with an accent)? I don't know; that would echo the editorial. But if printing Spanish on election ballots is so out of whack, I think it's a bit puzzling that an Australian can win a major golf tournament - a patriotically named one, at that - and it's OK to the same people.



  • At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Soooooooo your saying that because people think English is the language that should be on the ballot they are racist?? I am having a hard time following your logic. Did you hear negative comments when Tiger wins? or V. Singh? That might smack of racisim if you did, but what I think your hearing is people who are fearful of losing thier national identity by not maintaining English as the language that this country runs on.

    If you do not agree with that, say so but don't quickly pull out the race card to brow beat people into being afraid to speak out. I am sure your very well aware of the negative connatation that being called a racist brings. Be careful how you chose your words.

  • At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Matt Neistein said…

    Actually, I wasn't really saying anything. I just thought that it's interesting to see what people think constitutes "losing their national identity" and what's seen as par for the course, pardon the pun.

    In terms of immediate impact, printing a ballot in Spanish or Hmong has absolutely no effect on an English-speaking American. They'll still be printed in English for us, too. Doesn't change anything. However, a foreigner coming here and winning a million-plus dollars in a golf tournament on our soil means some American missed out on that chance.

    But that draws no outcry at all.

    And it would be silly to continually ignore the fact that the languages people are getting upset about being used are those used primarily by ethnic minorities: Spanish, and now Hmong. No one's been worried about things being printed in French or Italian or German or any other European language.

    I haven't called anyone a racist, and I don't believe our editorial did, either. But to stick our heads in the sand and say it plays no role in this debate is a fantasy.


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