On 5/20/06, Sarah <slimvirgin(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I agree that it's a matter of editorial common
sense. If the ethnicity
is relevant to the person's notability, it's fine to mention it in the
intro. If it's harmless, ditto. But if it's irrelevant and arguably
racist, anti-Semitic, or Islamophobic, then it's important not to
mention it with unseemly haste. We shouldn't have articles starting
with: "John Doe is a British Muslim convicted of child rape," or "Jane
Doe is an Afro-American who murdered all four of her husbands."
There's no harm in mentioning ethnic background in the bio section,
but it shouldn't be used as a stick to beat people with (or to beat
their ethnicity with).
What if they are famous rather than infamous? Is it ok to give the ethnicity
a bit of a "boost"?
That reminds me of the incident in the movie, "The Mouse on the Moon,"
in which the British TV commentators made a big deal of the fact that
the watch worn by the astronaut was made in Britain. :-)