The Corner

Racism as a Second Language

Charlie, re Oprah’s account of her racist treatment by a totally racist high-end handbag saleswoman in Switzerland, the lady apparently conversed with Oprah in her own language – English. How many racists in American handbag stores would be considerate enough to insult non-American people of color in their own tongue? Or would even be capable of it?

Zurich is a German-speaking city, the bulk of whose people talk “Schweizerdeutsch”, with a smaller percentage favoring High German. According to the official statistics, only 8.8 per cent of Zurich residents speak English, which is barely any more significant than the 4.1 per cent who speak Serbo-Croat. How many times has the Reverend Al Sharpton strolled into his Swiss watchmakers ready to take offense only to have the snooty clerk sneer at him racistly in Serbo-Croat and leave him none the wiser? Yet this racist handbag lady made a good-faith effort to conduct her totally racist putdown of Oprah in Oprah’s language rather than her own. Just another hardworking foreigner doing the jobs American racists won’t do.

I don’t know what the answer to this is as America’s unilingual racists are outpaced in the new global racism economy, but it undoubtedly involves “investing more in education” before US racists are left auf der Rückseite der autobus. Maybe Oprah could do a special on it or something.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More