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Mr. Aguirre-Sacasa’s “I’m OK. Eurotrash” (11/27) crosses the line between comical satire and garden-variety racism. Sure, stereotypes are endemic in our society, and I do not subscribe to the notion that we must censor all stereotypical references from public discourse in the name of political correctness. However, the Eurotrash piece piles on baseless accusations that are clearly the product of the writer’s hatred, or perhaps envy, for a culture he has trouble understanding. (Perhaps Freud can figure out whether it’s hatred or envy; I’m just a lawyer.)
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Everyone familiar with D.C. clubbing knows the Euro stereotype. Some like it; some don’t. As a George Washington University undergrad in the late ’80s, I enjoyed the Euro scene. However, clubbing runs rampant among groups susceptible to stereotype. Whether you satirize sports bars with jock wannabes, Capital Hill pubs with pseudo-intellectuals, or progressive clubs with hard-core clubbers, D.C. nightlife is fair game for humorous criticism. But when “Eurotrash” suggests the inferiority of foreign students, that is not amusingit’s just plain racist. (Yes, even someone of Nicaraguan descent can espouse racist views.)
What is the basis for “Eurotrash”‘s charge that “there were universities where foreign money could grease dimwitted children through the admissions process”? Is the author privy to inside information about a local university’s admissions process? No. The suggestion is simply the product of that old belief that foreigners are inferior and therefore could never have achieved by the merits of their work. Similarly, what is the basis for the writer’s accusation that American University’s foreign students typically take five years to graduate and barely attend class? Does the author know people like this? I suspect not. Garden-variety racism rears its ugly head throughout “Eurotrash.” My friends at GW were foreign students, and many of my current friends are, but I have never seen foreign students who fit this mold.
“Eurotrash” tried far too hard to amuse. In the process, the author forgot the fundamentals of writinghave some basis, any basis, for what you write. Otherwise, there is no credibility, or even humor, in what you produce.
via the Internet