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28 October 2016 @ 06:43 am
Just the other day on Facebook, John Clute, who definitely knows more words than anybody else now that Bill Buckley is gone, mentioned hypodescent: a system of racial classification where even "one drop" of blood defines a person born of mixed parentage as belonging to the subordinate (in socioeconomic terms) group. Today, we have an example: a Republican saying on television that Tammy Duckworth doesn’t look white enough to have ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.

ETA: And someone with a Spanish name is accused of Extreme Cultural Appropriation for attempting to make off with the obviously Caucasian word hence.
Kalimac: puzzlekalimac on October 28th, 2016 12:49 pm (UTC)
We've already been through this with Obama's white ancestors from Kansas. This time it's even stupider, because at least Obama's name is from Kenya; nobody brought the name "Duckworth" from Thailand, so it's particularly stupid to forget that she's half-Caucasian, no matter what she looks like to Kirk's racist eyes.

re the ETA, what she was accused of wasn't cultural appropriation but plagiarism, on the grounds that someone with a Spanish name wouldn't use that word. A related but distinct fallacy.
Elenbarathielenbarathi on October 29th, 2016 06:39 am (UTC)
"re the ETA, what she was accused of wasn't cultural appropriation but plagiarism"

Was coming in to say this. But it's a totally bogus accusation, because what is she accused of plagiarizing? If a piece is copypasted from something online, it's easy enough to find the original by plugging sentences into Google.

Edit: "on the grounds that someone with a Spanish name wouldn't use that word."

That's not what was said. It was on the grounds that she wouldn't use that word; apparently no reason was given for that assumption.

Her name and her appearance may have nothing to do with it - perhaps she's got a regional/ethnic accent or speech pattern that her teacher is prejudiced against. Lots of people who write well don't sound so good in verbal speech.

Edited at 2016-10-29 07:20 am (UTC)
Kalimackalimac on October 29th, 2016 07:39 am (UTC)
Correction noted, but she certainly assumed that her Spanish name was deemed the reason she wouldn't use that word. Perhaps she's sensitive on that point. I once expressed exasperation at a man who replied, "So you think I'm a stupid Latino, right?" As his ethnicity was not on my mind at all, and I'd said nothing about it, this was dismaying.
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on October 29th, 2016 08:28 am (UTC)
I can see why. You couldn't exactly say "Half right; I do think you're stupid, but I hadn't noticed that you're Latino."

It may be that this lady's teacher does think she's a poor writer, but not because she's Latina. In any case, an accusation of plagiarism requires evidence beyond "I don't believe you'd use the word hence".