Is it racist? Racial remarks spark reprimand of Nevada official

In this story, a county assessor sent an e-mail to the sheriff asking if all of those latinos working on building a jail were legal.

My questions are:

1.) Is this really racism?
2.) What should she have done?
Call Immigration? Left it alone?

  1. Yes.
  2. Minded her own business.

Dio got it right in one.

ETA: How is it not racist? What, in your mind, gives it even a hint of credibility?

Well, from the article its seems like she was fabricating complaints, which is hard to justify. Its kinda hard to tell if she was motivated by racism just from the one sentence of the email that was quoted.

Whether it counts as racism depends, I suppose, both on one’s definition of racism and on her intent/mindset when writing the letter. What does seem apparent is that she had no reason – beyond the Latin appearance of the workers (and “complaints” which the article indicates may not have even occurred) – to suppose that the workers may not be legal. If that’s the case then she clearly had no basis for calling immigration.

Was she wrong for raising the question at all? Probably. It was at the very least imprudent.

Would she have been concerned about the workers’ immigration status if they were all white? No? Then it was racism. And good on the sheriff for calling her out on it.

I think it’s a racist comment, and hopefully I have enough of a reputation here that I can be free of any idea that I have a knee-jerk response in favor of finding racism.

The only thing the assessor identifies as a concern is the appearance and language of the workers. How is that grounded in anything other than racism?

Yes it is obviously blatantly racist, what she should have done is be less racist.

I think one would argue that it’s not racist because she wasn’t saying or hinting that her own race was superior to their race. Maybe I’m using the word “racist” too strictly, but I think that people use it too loosely.

I thought racism was about thinking a group of people are inferior.

It may clearly be an inappropriate comment based on appearances but is it racism?

Personally, I think its a sure bet.

1.) Let’s say, hypothetically, that the US has a large population of illegal Polish immigrants and this was a major issue to a lot of US citizens. If she had heard them speaking Polish and questioned their citizenship, would that be racist?

2.) What if her e-mail had simply said “Look, I used to work for a construction company that got fined millions of dollars for hiring illegal immigrants, so you might want to make sure to CYA.” Would that have avoided this whole issue?

The quote in the OP leaves some room for debate. How about this gem:

From here:

So, yes. Racist. If she’s concerned, see that SSNs are being checked and that employers are hiring eligible workers. I know it’s tough to follow the law, but it’ll be more reliable than checking to see if they’re dirty and/or filthy.

Even under your definition it’s racism because she’s assuming anyone Hispanic is likely to be breaking immigration laws.

Now inferior isn’t exactly defined in your definition (particularly what the ranking criteria is), but seems to me saying Xs are probably breaking the law because they’re X is calling them inferior if the word has any meaning, unless she thinks that law should be broken. Which is doubtful.

Edit: nvm HookerChemical blew the lid off this thing.

HookerChemical’s addition tipped the scales for me. Until then I would have balked at racist and thought it was more stereotype-ist.

Heh, yea, the original article seemed kinda like it must only be half the story, as the one quote from the email wasn’t really that bad and it sounded like it only went to the sheriff. But CCing the media and complaining about dirty filthy Mexicans breeding in the US, its a lot easier to see why that got her censured.

Kinda makes you wonder about the reporter that wrote the original article though. The Assessor sending out mass-emails comparing Mexicans to Locusts seems kinda like a relevant point that should probably get mentioned in an article about her being censured for racism.

If I lived in that county though, I’d hire some pregnant Mexicans to hang out in my neighborhood when she came to asses my house, bet I could get a couple hundred knocked off my property taxes that way.

Whether or not it’s racist still doesn’t answer the question though. To me it sounds like it was racist, but I also feel from his response, that the question has legitimacy.

For instance, suppose a cop is white and four cars run a red light. Three of them are white drivers and one is a black driver.

He singles out the black driver and pulls him over and gives him a ticket.

Is that racism? Yes it is, well almost certainly it is.

BUT and here’s the question, did the black driver do something that was worthy of him getting a ticket. Yes he did, so despite the racism of being singled out for a ticket, that still doesn’t mean he is guilty.

It’s an old trick, when you’re guilty to divert the guilt by crying race, sex, sexual orientation or whatever.

Whatever the intent of the person asking the question, the question still remains, were his workers properly documented workers? Which was never answered.

You see how he conveniently deflected that.

There are two seperate issues going on. One is racism but the other is possible criminal activity

Of course you will ask why should anyone be subject to questioning just because his/her looks.

But we do it all the time. I go to a store and I don’t steal, yet my image is captured on video, I have to go through sensors, etc

Gay people can’t give blood at the red cross, though the Red Cross makes no distinction to recent sexual or non-sexual behaviours.

The obvious flaw in your traffic light analogy is that the cop saw the driver break a law. In the case of these workers, there is no probable cause at all to think they’re breaking any laws other than assumption that their perceived skin color and language makes it likely.

Markxxx: You forgot to add that a stopped clock is right twice a day. Who cares?

Assuming that someone is breaking the law based solely on their skin colour is racist.

The second article discusses if the workers were actually illegal. It seems the county does take precautions to make sure they’re not.

In your analogy, this is less like a cop stopping a black guy after seeing him run a red light, and more like the county assessor sending letters to the cops saying you must run red lights because your black.