Insensitive America Claims Another Innocent Victim
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By Anonymous Attorney

The Washington Post's Teresa Vargas rushed to the rescue last Friday of a drunk-driving Hispanic immigrant (legal, she tells us) who overstayed his jail time.[Another Inmate Held Too Long In Pr. William | Spanish-Speaking Man Victim of Clerical Error, June 8, 2007]

A number of points not addressed by Vargas:

  • How sorry should we feel, exactly, for this "hard working" El Salvadoran who, despite his hectic tree-cutting and grocery-stocking schedule, still found the time to drive drunk and endanger our lives? If he'd killed someone, would we get a story focusing on his immigrant status, leading to a bigger story about the unending number of deaths caused by drunk-driving illegals/Hispanic immigrants?
  • Why should the problems caused by his inability to speak English come to rest on the English-speaking population? A man comes to the United States with no intention of learning the language (the story says he's been here since he was a teenager) or obeying its traffic laws, and WE are all the bad guys because of the problem that arose?
  • Why would Mr. Duarte sign two court documents with two different last names? Are Hispanics playing with their own dual last names in this way to confound authorities? Has anyone checked into this?
  • If 25 percent of the inmates processed by Prince William County are Hispanic, doesn't that point more to a Hispanic crime wave problem than a justice administration problem by the county?
  • Has Ms. Vargas ever looked into what happens to an American in a Mexican (or El Salvadoran) jail?

We can be confident that Ms. Vargas—and the rest of the Washington Post team—will never ask these questions or write these stories. You can see exactly what's running through her head as she sits there at her desk: fat, white sheriff's deputies and police officials in Virginia, probably bigots, are manhandling innocent Mr. Duarte, a blameless Hispanic immigrant who only works hard and dreams his dreams of success. The hero and the villains were formed in her mind before she ever picked up the phone for an interview, and the story fell into place.

This is journalistic malpractice. It's naked ethnic advocacy (for Hispanics) and obvious ethnic slander (against Americans, English- speakers, whites, etc.). It doesn't pass what Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko (an old-style liberal) might have called the "Slats Grobnik" test: how would a working guy sitting at a bar react to a story like this? Probably by snorting that Mr. Duarte should have learned some English, or stayed home in El Salvador.

But I am willing to bet that Ms. Vargas wouldn't care about the opinion of a working guy sitting at a bar—unless he had two last names.

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