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David Brooks says there's no 'shame' in being called 'mutt


New York Times columnist David Brooks is pushing back against those who took exception with his recent op-ed in which he said the U.S. would soon be "a nation of mutts."

Responding to a letter from an offended reader, Brooks wrote [via New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan's blog]:

[H]istory is filled with examples of groups who have taken derogatory terms and embraced them as sources of pride. To take the word “mutt” as a derogatory term, you have to believe that purebred things are superior to mixed-breed things, whether it is dogs or people. But if you don’t believe that, there is nothing to be ashamed of in the word mutt.

Brooks' original op-ed was a commentary on the changing demographics of the U.S., using the Senate's recently-passed immigration bill as a news hook.

He further defended himself, saying, "I was trying to embrace and celebrate a more ethnically intermingled America. I conclude with this sentence: 'On the whole, this future is exciting.' To read this column as racist requires either a misreading or a strong desire to be offended, no matter what is on the page."


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