Friday, April 02, 2004

A JAY SEVERIN FAN CHECKS IN. Christopher Connolly e-mails:

I just read your article from the 6th, while searching for Jay Severin on the 'net. Don't get your knickers in a bunch over Jay using the word 'wetback'. Does he use the word frequently when describing the country's apathy towards its undefended boarders [sic]? Yes. Is the use of the word offensive? Probably. Is it illegal to use the word? No. Would he be considered 'unprofessional' for using this word? No. Is he a racist? No. Should he be reprimanded for using the word? Definitely not.

First off, his show is called Extreme Games. It is not for everyone, especially those who (ie, YOU) cringe when people use words or think outside of the 'PC Dictionary'. I have a problem w/ accusers who use language as a sword against someone's opinion. Comparing Jay's use of the word wetback to Callahan's ridiculous comments while on WEEI is a poor example. Today's society and media don't seem to mind the cowards who easily call other people racists. You fall into this category.

I believe Jay is using the word for at least a couple of reasons. You have to look at Jay's 'M.O.' for using the word wetback. Apparently most of the nation incorrectly assumes that illegal aliens are not a problem to the security of our nation. In doing so, our media has been using 'flabby words', ie, words w/o substance to truly describe illegal aliens coming out of Mexico. One must have his head buried in the sand if one assumes all of these people are 'decent poor Mexicans' looking for work, and the 'American Dream'. These people are breaking the law. Why should we or the media sympathize w/ them? Jay's use of the word wetback may shock and remind us of why we shouldn't give them a pass, and why we should work to get our gov't to protect our boarders [sic]. He's calling bullshit on the media's poor assessment/opinion of this problem, and reminding us of the current and future consequences of the sad state of our boarder [sic] protection. (I won't bore you w/ the truth on how it's hurt our country already. My email is already getting long enough).

Wetback is the perfect word to describe our illegal immigration problem, and is not a racist word. It addresses the illegality of these people, and the means of breaking into this country. Does Jay have a problem w/ Mexicans applying for VISAS to enter this country legally? Of course not. Does Jay have a problem w/ Hispanics or Hispanic-Americans? No. Does he applaud hard-working, tax-paying, legal Hispanic-Americans who speak English. Yes.

So, to wrap up this email, it's obvious you don't agree w/ Jay on many political topics, which is fine. Calling him a racist for using the word wetback is wrong. It's easy to take pot-shots at a very articulate, bright person, isn't it? It's no wonder he's as successfully as he is, and a giant in his field. You, on the other hand, are the flea on that giant's ass.

No need to respond at length; Connolly reveals himself. However, he completely glosses over what I actually reported in the post that he mentions (which ran on February 5, not the 6th), which is that every dictionary you can find describes the word wetback as either "offensive" or "taboo." If you do a search for the N-word, you will find the same thing.

In other words, wetback is not racist because I say so, but because it has been deemed as such by the culture-at-large, as reflected in the most widely used dictionaries. If Severin (and Connolly) choose to stand apart from that, that's their right. And if I call their use of the word "racist," that's not only my right - it's also the truth.

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