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Writer Of ‘Wetback’ Slur At National Review Offers Defense: ‘Get A Frickin’ Life.’

by David Badash on July 17, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Media,News

Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor and writer at the National Review (NRO), yesterday used the slur “wetback” to describe Mexicans in a blog post about the Reagan years. Nordlinger’s defense? “Good grief,” and “Get a frickin’ life.”

READ: Racism: ‘Wetbacks’ Is An Acceptable Word Today At Right Wing ‘National Review’

Nordlinger, clearly unconcerned that the once-venerable National Review has suffered repeated charges of racism — the most public of those surrounding John Derbyshire, who ultimately was “fired,” or, told the NRO would no longer publish his work — felt totally comfortable, if not, apparently, irritated, in standing by the slur, because, “I have no doubt that most readers knew what I was doing.”

“But I guess you have to issue these little “clarifications” for the benefit of the dim.

“Look: I am not a politician. I’m a writer. And if you don’t like what I write — for heaven’s sake, there are 8 billion others you can click on. I would further say to the complainers, using a phrase I’ve never liked, frankly: Get a life. Get a frickin’ life.

“One more word: If people wet their pants on seeing the word “wetback,” this country is as far gone as the most pessimistic and alarmist people say it is.

“Two more words: Good grief.”

Yes, because “the dim,” aka most people, were offended by the slur, and because as both a writer and an editor, it’s your job to ensure you don’t leave perception to chance.

Any writer who just assumes readers will “get it,” doesn’t.

Clearly, Nordlinger, an award winning (dare I use the word?) writer, and author of several books, knew what he was doing.

Nordlinger’s bio at the National Review states, ironically:

Jay Nordlinger is a senior editor of National Review. He writes about a variety of subjects, including politics, foreign affairs, and the arts. He is music critic for The New Criterion and City Arts, as well as for NR. For National Review Online, he writes a column called “Impromptus.” He has won awards for his work on human rights, in particular. Some 100 pieces are gathered in Here, There & Everywhere: Collected Writings of Jay Nordlinger. Nordlinger’s most recent book is Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the WorldA native Michigander, the author lives in New York.

[Emphasis ours.]

The National Review, not coincidentally, is also home to the co-founder and former Chair of National Organization For Marriage, Maggie Gallagher.

Birds of a feather…

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{ 1 comment }

JayJonson July 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

Absurd that you would refer to the National Review as "once-venerable." The only people who ever venerated it were racist Republicans.

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