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From: Shane Mahoney (e-mail him)
Sears would do well to look at Notre Dame`s mascot, the "Fighting Irish" leprechaun who is every negative Irish stereotype rolled into one. Co-opting the ethnic and racial slurs of one`s detractors and making them one`s own has a long history in the U.S., from "Yankee" to "paleface" to "honky."
Both my parents went to the University of Hawaii in the 1950s and cheerfully referred to themselves and their white friends as "haole", which is a considered by many to be a racially derogatory term used by resentful Hawaiians and Asians.
I don`t mind being referred to as a
"mick" and I confess that I dance like a white
guy. Most people I know have referred to
themselves or other whites as "Anglos"
"gringos" at some point or other, without
any evidence of lost self-esteem afterward.
On the other hand, I really dislike it when people I don`t know well catch themselves just before using the term "paddy wagon" and need an awkward moment to think of an inoffensive substitute. This is just politically correctness run absolutely amok. The idea that I`d be offended is, well, offensive, if only mildly and temporarily.
Let`s not lower ourselves to the sort of whining about inconsequential slights that we dislike so much among people who don`t seem to have anything better to do.
Suggestions to the contrary should go right into the "white trash" can.
Mahoney, a California native, is a retired engineer.