(My wife and I have been having a ‘fight’ for at least the last six months over whether we should cancel our subscriptions to the paper editions of the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Said wife claims that it is a waste of money since she never reads the print editions (true) and she doesn’t think I do either (partially true).
Crunch time has come as the Times wants to charge us $815.78 to renew our subscription and said wife refuses to pay the bill (she is in charge of the monthly bills). Either I am to pay this bill, or our subscription will lapse.
Thus for the last few weeks, I have been opening, scanning, and occasionally reading a few articles I missed from reading the previous night’s on line editions of these papers.
And so, had I not opened today’s print edition, I would not have seen the following:)
In this article, reporter Julia Preston describes something that seems to me a win for everyone and a reminder that one person can make a difference.
The term anchor baby was recently added to the American Heritage Dictionary in their latest edition along with 10,000 other new words/terms.
It was defined as: “A child born to a non citizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.”
The executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, recently read that definition during a radio interview. And when Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, learned of it, she was upset and wrote on a Friday morning on her Center’s blog that this dictionary definition “masks the poisonous and derogatory nature of the term, a term which demeans both parent and child.”
Apparently Giovagnoli’s blog got wide circulation over the Internet.
By that afternoon, according to the NY Times reporter, Kleinedler had called Giovagnoli, and with his editors “huddled over the weekend, and on Monday a new definition of anchor baby was posted on the dictionary’s Web site.”
It started with “offensive,” in italics and went on to define the term: “Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a non citizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to child born on its’ soil, especially when the child’s birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother’s or other relatives’ chances of securing eventual citizenship.”
It seems to me everyone ‘won’ here:
*Mary Giovagnoli for drawing attention to the slur;
*Steve Kleinedler for his and his editors’ willingness and decision to rectify an error (he is reported to have said (anchor baby) “is now treated similarly to how the dictionary treats a wide range of slurs);
*the parents who conceived their children without doing so in order to gain citizenship; and mostly
*the innocent children who had no role in why they were conceived (as well as those who will be born to non citizens in the future).
Plus, it’s an example (perhaps not an earth shattering one, but still an encouraging one) that an individual(s) can still right a wrong in this country.
(Now, shouldn’t the Millers continue to get the paper edition of the newspapers?)