George Will Thinks You Don’t Know Any Latinos, Either

George Will, defending Arizona’s draconian new immigration law, concludes his column (Washington Post, 4/28/10) with this today:

Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 a.m.

There are 47 million Latinos in the United States. Will’s assumption that the only ones known to the readers he’s addressing are likely to be waiting tables or mowing lawns is quite bizarre–and a testament to how homogeneous his world must be.

Equally strange is the contrast he draws between the “fine” individuals his readers know and the presumably more sinister types found in Arizona backyards. Arizona is not the only state with many Latino residents, nor with numerous unauthorized immigrants. At the beginning of his column, Will mocks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for representing San Francisco, but California has more undocumented workers per capita and eight times as many in total; shouldn’t he stop judging her disdainfully from a distance?

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.