Tags: olbermann | slur

Olbermann Slurs Latinos With 'Guacamole'

Tuesday, 05 Feb 2008 08:05 AM

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MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Monday night made a comment that many Hispanic-Americans are sure to find racially offensive.

Discussing Sunday’s Super Bowl on “Countdown,” Olbermann told his audience: “New York Senator Clinton and adopted Giants fan watched the game in Minnesota and told The Associated Press, ‘Super Bowl, Super Tuesday — we have one down, let’s get the other.’

“This as her husband watched the game in New Mexico with the former [sic] Governor Bill Richardson, possibly asking Richardson for an endorsement and then would you please pass the guacamole.”

Lizette J. Olmos, communications director for the League of United Latin American Citizens, told Newsmax that Olbermann’s remark “was not necessary and could be perceived as being insensitive to Hispanic viewers.”

There is no doubt that Richardson himself, a Hispanic-American, would find fault with the use of the word “guacamole” in that context.

He was unavailable for comment today, but he did respond to a similar comment made by Hillary Clinton in January.

During a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton — making the point that the problems American face are connected — told a largely Hispanic crowd: “We treat them as though one is guacamole and one is chips.”

The remark was “a bit unfortunate,” Richardson later told columnist Ruben Navarrette. “This was a slip of the tongue. But it’s still typical of an American mainstream view that we’re defined by certain ethnic characteristics.”

Now Olbermann has also wound up with guacamole all over his face. But it’s not the first time he’s made a racially insensitive remark.

Olbermann narrated a reel of the Sept. 9 NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos and commented: “With the Denver drive having stalled, Roscoe Parrish on the punt return. Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles at its finest. He could go the entire distance and does and it’s seven-zip Bills.”

Noting that Olbermann has called Fox News host Bill O’Reilly a “passive-aggressive racist” for his remarks about his visit to a soul food restaurant, Ken Shepherd of NewsBuster.org observed: “Now I’m not saying Olbermann is a ‘passive-aggressive racist,’ but a man who makes jokes about a soul food restaurant being the reason for a black athlete’s success on the football field should be a bit more circumspect, especially since O’Reilly colleague and black journalist Juan Williams has defended O’Reilly, saying his remarks were grossly taken out of context.”

[Editor's Note: After making the statement, and after the above story was published, Lizette J. Olmos, communications director for the League of United Latin American Citizens, overruled the press statement and requested that her comments be dropped from the article.]

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