Saturday, November 12, 2005

'Will'ingly illogical

Someone please explain to me how this bit of verbal detritus from George Will's column today gets through the copy desk of the Washington Post and of my local paper, The (Columbia) State (and, from what I've seen other papers as well). Will is writing about Utah's resistance to federal intervention in its schools under No Child Left Behind:

Not all Utahns are Mormons. Almost 11 percent are Hispanics, heading for 20 percent by 2020, and there is a significant population of Pacific islanders. But the state's singular tone is set by the Mormons.
So Hispanics can't be Mormons? Does that mean white people of Polish descent can't be Catholic or black people can't be Jewish? And lord knows what religion those Pacific Islanders can be.

It's the classic case of confusing ethnicity for religion (or race for either of the above). In essence, Will is using Mormon as a code word for "white."

This is not about ideology -- whether you agree or disagree with Will, this is trash journalism/opinion writing. Someone on a desk somewhere should have caught it and requested a rework or have cut it.


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