"Afghan Immigrant" In LA TIMES Headline: Does This Mean They Think He's The Victim
Print Friendly and PDF

Peter Brimelow pointed out this surprising headline: Afghan immigrant pleads not guilty to bombing conspiracy, By Tina Susman, LA Times September 29, 2009.

It's surprising not because an immigrant is arrested on terrorism charges—most people who plot terrorism against the United States are immigrants. It's surprising that a mainstream media headline says so. That's one of the things that are not done, according to the AP Stylebook.

My immediate thought was that it means that the LA Times thinks that he's somehow the victim, possibly of racial profiling. That's the rule—you say "immigrant" when referring to a victim, never when referring to a villain.

This is especially notable in domestic violence, where husband and wife are both immigrants—it's "Immigrant victims of domestic violence," but not "immigrant charged with beating wife," even though both victim and abuser come from the same country. Email Tina Susman and ask her which it is.

Print Friendly and PDF