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What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

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Old 06-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

So anyway, a little background. Lately there has been a big stink here in Victoria, Texas for what some people consider a racist remark.

Victoria Advocate | News

Here's part of the article that appeared on the newspaper's website:

Quote:
Several residents are asking the Victoria city attorney for an explanation about a comment he made that they consider racist.

Mary Lou Canales was the first to bring the comment up during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

She is concerned about the words City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz chose May 21 while speaking with former Mayor Will Armstrong. The comment was broadcast on the city's television channel.

"I just need some clarification from the city attorney ... why he said, 'Just be sure to sign it in Spanish,'" Canales asked.

However, Gwosdz did not answer her question Tuesday night.

"Public comment is not a time for members of this council to respond to the public," Gwosdz said. "It's time for the public to share their ideas or statements to the council."

In video footage of the May 21 meeting, while Councilman Jeff Bauknight signed paperwork to take office, Gwosdz and Armstrong were in the back of the frame signing more paperwork to accept the results of the May 11 election.

Gwosdz instructed Armstrong: "Just be sure to sign in Spanish."

"Huh?" Armstrong asked.

"Just be sure to sign it in Spanish," Gwosdz said louder.

"That's Spanish," Armstrong said after signing one document. "And I sign - "

"Here in English," Gwosdz said.

The council is required to sign English and Spanish versions of election ordinances. The ordinances are translated into Spanish by a certified translator with the elections office.

After Tuesday's meeting, Gwosdz said he made the comment in an effort "to add a moment of levity to an overly stressful meeting."

Clara Ramos, a Victoria resident, said she considers the comment racist.

"I find it more as a mocking than anything, like he's mocking the Hispanics," she said. "How does someone sign in Spanish?"

Benny Martinez, the area director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the community will wait for an answer.

He said he would not tolerate racial remarks.

Mayor Paul Polasek said the situation is "unfortunate."

"I think it's been misunderstood," Polasek said. "I don't think there's any intent to be derogatory."

Ramos would not comment whether she had a plan of action to follow up.

Before the council cast its final votes Tuesday on an ordinance to fund the June 15 runoff election, Councilman Emett Alvarez asked whether Gwosdz wrote the Spanish ordinance already.

"I was curious what the citizens had to say about signing in Spanish," Alvarez said. "I don't see Mayor Armstrong's name in Spanish. I don't see what that's all about."
A few days after this happened, the local newspaper came out with a poll to see what residents thought constituted a racist remark.

What constitutes a racist remark?

A. If even one person is offended..........17%
B. If it offends most reasonable people....40%
C. If the commenter intended harm.........42%
D. Other, please specify........................2%

So, Warpathers, my question to you is: what constitutes a racist remark?
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

B and/or C
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirLK26 View Post
So anyway, a little background. Lately there has been a big stink here in Victoria, Texas for what some people consider a racist remark.

Victoria Advocate | News

Here's part of the article that appeared on the newspaper's website:



A few days after this happened, the local newspaper came out with a poll to see what residents thought constituted a racist remark.

What constitutes a racist remark?

A. If even one person is offended..........17%
B. If it offends most reasonable people....40%
C. If the commenter intended harm.........42%
D. Other, please specify........................2%

So, Warpathers, my question to you is: what constitutes a racist remark?

My answer to that is talk to the offended parties and find out what it is they are offended by. Reason being what might be offensive in Texas might not be in Maine.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

Hurt feelings. **** 'em.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

I offened all races equally so I don't care. These people are just being stupid and half of them are probably here illegally.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

If people in general worked as hard towards tolerance as they do to find a way to be...offended, it would be a better world.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

If there is a rule stating that these legal documents have to be signed in English and Spanish (not that I get the difference), what is so harmful about a person asking another person to sign the Spanish portion in Spanish?

I feel like a racist remark would be anything where one person clearly shows ill will towards the race of another person. This is not one of those instances.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

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Originally Posted by mooby View Post
If there is a rule stating that these legal documents have to be signed in English and Spanish (not that I get the difference), what is so harmful about a person asking another person to sign the Spanish portion in Spanish?
Point is, there is no difference.

I'm not sure there was really any racist intent, the guy probably should have kept his mouth shut though.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
B and/or C
Yeah, I would agree with you here. If the commenter intended harm, it's obviously racist. If he didn't intend any harm, but it still offends reasonable people, I would say it's still racist.

The attorney, Gwosdz, did say he was just trying to "add a moment of levity to an overly stressful meeting." I don't think he was intending any harm.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

This is America, though. I'm just wondering why the f*** it's a law that we have to have documents signed in Spanish.

What did Sweet Daddy D say? Oh, never mind.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
Point is, there is no difference.

I'm not sure there was really any racist intent, the guy probably should have kept his mouth shut though.
Yeah, not all stupid remarks are necessarily racist
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:58 AM   #12
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Yeah, not all stupid remarks are necessarily racist
I know that.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:24 AM   #13
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

If Gwosdz was really trying to be funny, he is the WORLD'S...WORST...COMEDIAN. When you try to make a joke and your audience just goes, "Huh?", I think comedian is out as a career path for you.

And Hog1, your comment was so true.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

So the attorney has apologized.

Quote:
In an effort to mend bridges, Victoria City attorney Thomas Gwosdz apologized Tuesday for a comment some saw as offensive...

"It didn't come out the way I expected it to," Gwosdz said. "I regret what I said. It was certainly not meant to give offense, but apparently, I did by accident."

Benny Martinez, director of the area League of United Latin American Citizens chapter, said he accepts the apology. "We have good reason to be sensitive because for years we have been criticized in a derogatory manner, and it really hurts our feelings when people do that," Martinez said. We do accept your apology. I know we can work together."
The bold. LOL. Get a life.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:40 PM   #15
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Re: What Constitutes a Racist Remark?

I didn't find it insensitive or racist, oddly enough.

But to be fair, that area belonged to Mexico first and many Hispanics have been in the southwest long before the Europeans settlers came around.
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