Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Great Moments in Race Relations

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies' AAA team, have decided to rename their pig mascot "Ferrous" because their first choice -- "Pork Chop" -- was deemed offensive to Puerto Ricans. Who did the actual deeming is a bit nebulous, however, in that even the leader of a local Latino group is saying that, as far as racial slurs go, "pork chop" was something that was far more offensive to his dead parents' generation than it is to anyone today:

Guillermo Lopez, vice president of the Latino Leadership Alliance, said he was called "pork chop" when he worked at Bethlehem Steel decades ago. "If my parents were alive, they'd be having fits," said Lopez, among those who complained to the team. "It meant much more to them than it does to Puerto Ricans now in the Lehigh Valley."

But hey, it's not America if we don't overreact to even the most obscure claims of racial prejudice:

General Manager Kurt Landes said he heard from several Hispanics who said PorkChop was derogatory. "We were really unaware of any negative connotations
with the word 'pork chop,"' he said. "If it offended a few, it's a few too many."
So at least we know what the standard is now. Once we have identified and renamed all things which offend "a few" we will finally be able to get down to some serious business. Everyone who disagrees will get 40 lashes and six months in prison.

In other news, the ridiculous public oversensitivity displayed by IronPigs' management has paved the way for the use of "pork chop" as a racial slur to make a stunning return to vitality in eastern Pennsylvania.


Mike said...

But top level professional teams like the Indians and Redskins will never get a clue unless there are more cases like this Pork Chop one.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shyster said...

For those interested, I deleted the comment above, left by an anonymous commenter, because it was in poor taste, employing as it did basically every racial epithet you can imagine. No, "pork chop" was not one of them.

It's not my preference to censor, but when the rhetorical point, to the extent one ever existed, is so utterly drowned out by racial slurs, I have to pull the trigger. I try to keep some standards around here.

That said, I hereby gladly paraphrase the point I believe the poster was trying to make, personal attacks included:

1. Shyster, you're an insentive prick Nazi who only cares about insults when they're aimed at you [he then presumes that I am of a Jewish/Italian extraction].

2. Shyster, who made you God and said that you get to decide what epithets cross the line?;

3. Shyster, you probably don't even get my point, which makes you a moron rightwing nutbag;

4. By the way, nothing you say matters because you're a rich unethical lawyer who only cares about money and himself;

5. Shyster, you don't know anything about racial issues and all that you do know you must have learned from the talk radio you so obviously wish to be a part of someday, and by the way you double bill your clients, you thief;

6. This is verbaitm: "We don't get to pick what insults others, you cross dressing republican."

My response: You're right, Mr. Anonymous. We don't get to pick what offends others. We do, however, get to judge whether the fact that someone takes offense at something is worth responding to.

If the IronPigs' mascot was a vaguely Latino character and it was named "pork chop," I'd have some sympathy. It wasn't, though. It is a pig. There is not, to my knowledge, any plausible basis to believe that in naming the pig "pork chop," the Iron Pigs intended to insult the Latino population in any way, shape or form. Context matters. When your mascot is an Indian and you name your team the Redskins, that's offensive. If your mascot is a potato and you name your team the redskins, it is not.

To believe otherwise is to believe that the words "pork chop" and "redskins" should be utterly outlawed in any context, country cookin' menus included.

As for the personal stuff, you got me. I'm a racist Nazi Italian Jewish right wing nutbag wannabe talk show host crossdressing unethical lawyer. I had been trying so hard to hide it until now. Who are you, Sherlock effing Holmes?

Unfortunately I know so little about you. Please come back and post again so we can get to know one another. You sound so cuddly.

64cardinals said...

You're unethical?

Who would have seen that coming?

Shyster said...

Certainly not my clients, as I'm so unethical they don't even know I'm fleecing them. Actually, they don't even know it's me, what with the crossdressing and all.

glenn said...

So, what do am I supposed to call these things that are in the broiler right now?