Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blame Canada

Via Raw Story, this sounds more like an episode of South Park, alas it is real news from Texas.

Long derogated as weak-kneed liberals with lax laws and funny monopoly money, Canadians have carried a negative connotation in certain regions of America – but not as a replacement for the N-word.

Earlier this week a columnist with the Houston Chronicle uncovered an email from Harris County assistant district attorney Mike Trent who, in a congratulatory note to a junior prosecutor, used the word "Canadians" to describe blacks on a jury.

Trent wrote of the prosecutor in a 2003 email: "He overcame a subversively good defence by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing." [Toronto Star]

There were, of course, no Canadians on the jury but the DA claims he thought there were Canadians on the jury and had no idea the word was a racial slur. The fact the word isn't a racial slur and that we should not now think that its use in indicative of one does not exonerate the DA. Without knowing some people now use the word as a slur, anyone with a cognitive skills would be left scratching their head at the reference to Canadians on this jury or them feeling sorry for the defendant and rightfully guess he was using another word to hide what he was saying. I guess it's now only a matter of before someone gets nailed with a harassment suit at work for saying something about Canadians.

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