Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Growing up in Utah, I must have know a a couple of hundred people named Mamta Popat. It was as popular a Mormon name as LaVere, LaDell, or LaMar. That's why I agree with this guy (scroll down) that we shouldn't be too critical of the White House for demanding that a newspaper disclose the race of a photographer named Mamta Popat so that the security detail could disquish her from all of the other Mamta Popats.
From MIKE PETERSON: The Post-Star, Glens Falls, NY: While I'm generally supportive of the First Amendment and the necessity of extending the media certain courtesies, I have to admit I sympathize with the White House in this matter of inquiring about the race of Arizona Star photographer Mamta Popat in order to distinguish her from other people with the same name.
Around here, we have tried to be politically correct in making the necessary distinctions among the various staff members named Mamta Popat. "The one with two kids, or the one who drives the Toyota?" we'd say, or "Mamta the vegetarian, or Mamta who always wears that green jacket?"
Finally, we gave up and, yes, went the racial route: "Do you mean the Swedish Mamta Popat, the Japanese Mamta Popat or the Mamta Popat from County Cork?"
(Has anyone explained to the GOP that, if they do succeed in building a world where everyone prefers to be called Mary Brown and John Smith, it's only going to compound their security issues?)