[WikiEN-l] blocked for a week for these edits

Philip Welch wikipedia at philwelch.net
Sat May 20 14:11:48 UTC 2006

On May 20, 2006, at 7:06 AM, Steve Bennett wrote:

>> "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."
> Out of curiosity, why do you think nationality ("American") is  
> relevant, but
> not race, place of birth etc?

Well, it's a prima facie indication of where the person's  
gallivanting around took place. "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American  
basketball player" tells us, okay, he's in the US, which is big on  
basketball, if he was a Canadian basketball player, that would be a  
little different, even if he did play in America. ("Stephen John Nash  
(born February 7, 1974 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a Canadian  
All-Star National Basketball Association player for the Phoenix  
Suns." makes it clear that he did play in America.)

Always cite nationality in the first sentence; if the person had a  
significant-place-of-gallivanting-around other than their home  
country, cite that place-of-gallivanting-around in the first sentence  
as well. "Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO, Legion  
of Honour (August 16, 1888 – May 19, 1935), professionally known as  
T.E. Lawrence and, later, T.E. Shaw, but most famously known as  
Lawrence of Arabia, gained international renown for his role as a  
British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918. "  
establishes he's British, but he did a lot of gallivanting-around in  

> Can we formalise some guidelines? When is race
> relevant? Presumably if someone is the victim of a race hate  
> crime...but
> when else? I don't think in an encyclopaedia we can ever refrain from
> mentioning something like that, but we can take "not relevant" to  
> mean "not
> in the lead".

"Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972),  
became the first African American Major League Baseball player of the  
modern era in 1947." is a good example of citing race where relevant.

Philip L. Welch

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