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).
"John Allen Muhammad (born John Allen Williams on
December 31, 1960)
is an American serial killer. Together with his younger partner Lee
Boyd Malvo, he carried out the Beltway sniper attacks in an apparent
attempt to extort $10 million dollars during his shooting spree."
Not "John Allen Muhammed is a Muslim African-American serial killer".
"Lee Boyd Malvo (alias John Lee Malvo or Malik Malvo) (born February
18, 1985), along with John Allen Muhammad, was arrested on October
24, 2002 in connection with the Beltway sniper attacks. A jury
convicted Malvo of capital murder on December 18, 2003, and
recommended a sentence of life imprisonment without parole on
December 23, 2003,"
Race again not mentioned
Philip L. Welch