We recently received an interesting piece of reader feedback that we’d like to pass along to you. It relates to the recent Tequilagate scandal, which we previously deemed to be “kinda stupid.”
We predict that we’ll get some hate mail and negative comments over this (perhaps from the webmaster of this site). But we’ll push ahead anyway. If we were thin-skinned, we wouldn’t be in this line of work.
Here’s what one reader had to say to us:
I think you should do another post on Dahlia Lithwick, turning the “Tequilagate” scandal on her. Because, really, saying that there is a stereotype of drunken Mexicans is racist in itself, since she basically invented the stereotype.
Like if someone said, “An Irish thief,” and I responded, “That’s racist. How dare you appeal to the stereotype of theiving Irish,” that would be weird, because the stereotype doesn’t exist. We’re drunks, not theives.
As reflected in this post and this one, here at ATL we strive for complete accuracy in racial and ethnic stereotyping. So we thank our reader for this valuable input.
(Okay, that’s all we really wanted to say. If you’re fine with this, then you can stop here. But if you’re inclined to disagree or attack us, please continue reading. Two notes of anticipatory defense appear after the jump.)
Two notes of anticipatory defense:
1. As our buddy Schopenhauerian points out, there is SOME support for the stereotype of drunken Mexicans. We just think that, in the grand scheme of things, such support is pretty weak. “The drunk Mexican” is not a hardy or enduring stereotype, but rather, one that would probably fade away — if not for people like Lithwick bringing it up again and again. (In fact, we didn’t know about it prior to Tequilagate — and we feel we’ve been exposed to most racial and ethnic stereotypes over the years.)
2. Even if we don’t share her liberal political views, we generally enjoy and admire the writing of Dahlia Lithwick (a fellow former Ninth Circuit clerk). Indeed, Lithwick is a role model for any legal journalist who seeks to write about the profession in an engaging and entertaining manner. So please do not interpret our disagreement with her over Tequilagate as a more general criticism of her fine body of work.
(And please do not send us annoying emails telling us that we are not worthy to undo Dahlia’s strappy sandals, etc. We’re just calling her out on one little thing, nothing more.)
Tequila Mockingbird [Slate]
the dahlia dispatches [fan website]
Earlier: A Tempest Over Tequila