A portent of things to come
By Timothy Pratt, Las Vegas Sun
Las Vegas Sun
It's the g-word.
Some rank it up there with the n-word.
Although employed with mirth in a recent Sun story about attempts to lure Hispanics to this month's Vegas Grand Prix, one reader said the word was racist and possibly warranted a lawsuit.
Hitting the in-box just as Don Imus was being shoved away from the microphone, the strong feelings made for thought.
The term, after at least two centuries of use and incarnations on many shores, seems to have become a fighting word, at least for some "white, LEGAL, American citizens," to quote another reader's e-mail.
Experts said the anger was symptomatic of a shift occurring in parts of the United States, where members of the white majority have begun to feel they may soon be a minority and therefore deserve the same consideration about bigotry afforded minorities.*
The source of the problem: immigration.
"It's a very sensitive word, especially at this historical moment," said Vincent Perez, associate professor of English at UNLV and an expert on Hispanic culture.
Especially in our neck of the woods, he added.
"Given the highly charged political atmosphere (around immigration) in the Southwest ... the word is suddenly charged with a new meaning," Perez said.
The 'experts' cited above are engaged in deception if they believe, and want us to believe, minority European Americans are going to be afforded the same considerations as non-whites are now. -Frank Roman