Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Professors, Hmong, and Lutonians

Check out this controversy involving a U-Wisconsin law professor. Long story short, he is in hot water for pointing out some difficulties minority groups may face. Specifically, he talked about stereotypes that Hmong immigrants face in Wisconsin. Then an e-mail was circulated repeating the professor's words, but omitting the context in which he said that people need to overcome those stereotypes.

Imagine if I were to say that people wrongly assume that Lutonians are stupid. Have I said something bigoted? No. If anything, I am exposing the bigotry.

Whatever unconventional methods the professor used to combat stereotypes, he should be condemned for his methods, and not his beliefs. If the mere mention of a stereotype (albeit in dramatic and shocking terms) in a disapproving way makes one a racist, then wouldn't the person who quoted the statements in an e-mail also be a racist?

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