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In the U.S. south, is Canadian a new racial slur?
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 22:10 EST
"Canadian" has apparently become a code word for blacks among American racists.
It was a routine e-mail from the boss sent to congratulate a junior prosecutor in Houston, Tex., who had won manslaughter convictions against an intoxicated driver.
"He convicted Mr. Sosa of a double intoxication manslaughter, got a weak jury to give him 12 years in each, and then convinced Judge Wallace to stack the sentences," Harris County assistant district attorney Mike Trent wrote in an office-wide memo. Then came the odd part: "He overcame a subversively good defence by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing."
The e-mail was sent in 2003 but came to light only this month as part of an unrelated controversy with his office, forcing Mr. Trent to defend himself against accusations of bigotry -- not because he offended the people of Canada, but because "Canadian" has apparently become a code word for blacks among American racists.