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Crossword insensitive to white people

Jason Osborne Badgley
Tuesday May 14, 2002

To the editor: 

I was dismayed to find in the May 9 crossword puzzle a racial slur directed at lower- class whites. Although I was later told by staff that the crossword puzzle is not actually put together at the Daily Planet but is received over the wire from AP, I found its inclusion disturbing. The words, found at 16 across (“hayseed” and its cousin “hick”) are at one level funny descriptions of the naivete found in traditionally non-urban culture. But a deeper meaning cannot be ignored. As with all racist language, these words, when used to classify a type of person or people, are demeaning and reprehensible. Indeed, to make light of this sort of language and assume objectively, outside of communal understanding, (in the AP crossword puzzle!) that it will be understood as mere humor is in itself naivete (and ignorance) at its height. 

I suggest that instead of rushing to get a paper together in the name of community that you edit what its contents are first, risking the possibility that its features may be excluded. Please understand that including each person’s perspective is more important than the gain found in publishing a daily. 


- Jason Osborne Badgley