Monday, October 22, 2007

A regrettable choice of words

Recently a columnist writing for The Tribune touched on the topic of wedding engagements that break off, and whether a woman should keep a diamond engagement ring or not. In the course of the column the columnist used the term "Indian giver." That elicited this response from reader Bailey Drechsler of San Luis Obipso:
"The irony, of course, in the expression 'Indian giver' is that it completely obfuscates our government’s culpability in breaking treaties with and the decimation of Indian Americans. This is why the expression is offensive and heart-breaking. It’s easy to disregard the potency of 'ethnic slurs' when they don’t carry personal relevance; and cultural sensitivity is often seen as political correctness. Clearly it’s far more complex. "
Features Editor Rochelle Reed replies:
" You are absolutely right--we should not have allowed this insensitive reference into print, and it won't appear again on our pages." The columnist, who is of Hawaiian heritage, especially regrets the choice of words, Rochelle added.
We seek to avoid offending anyone with our writing, so this was an unfortunate exception. We had already spoken to the columnist about the poor use of the term, and I am confident it won't happen again.
_ Tad Weber

No comments: