CRITICS: Correction to D&S Editorial

Teun A. van Dijk teun at
Sun Apr 14 14:16:51 UTC 1996

Dear CRITICS-L friends,

Candy West has, with good reason(s), criticized a passage in my D&S
Editorial in which I called the uproar about recent police brutality
against 'illegal aliens' in California "hypocritical" in light of the
fact that the majority of Californian voters a year earlier had approved
a bill that denies social services to 'illegal' immigrants.

She is right in comparing my (too brief) analysis as "comparing apples
and pears". Of course, criticizing police behavior not only is the right
thing to do in such circumstances, but also need not be related to one's
position on this specific bill.

I therefore have rephrased that paragraph as follows:

  The public outcry against this police brutality implies that, fortunately,
  many people do not condone such behavior. On the other hand, at least some
  police officers may feel legitimated in a structural context in which the
  majority of Californian voters barely one year before had adopted
  Proposition 187, denying social services, such as schooling and medical
  treatment to 'illegal aliens' (see my editorial in *Discourse & Society*,
  6.2). We cannot simply disassociate ourselves from the 'bad guys' or the
  'real racists' in a society which is becoming increasingly inhospitable to
  the Others: Disapproval only becomes effective if it is transformed into
  *active* opposition against widespread policies and practices.

Now, *this* is the point I wanted to make. And of course, as is the case
for any editorial, it is an opinion, which is open for discussion
(both on this list, and as a contribution to the Discussion section of
Discourse & Society).

I am glad that posting a draft of the Editorial on this list allows for
the possibility to correct errors of judgment.

For those who want a copy of the new version of the whole editorial, I
post one in a next message to the CRITICS-L.



PS. Spring is *finally* producing some nice days here, after a long long

- -------------

Teun A. van Dijk
University of Amsterdam
CRITICS / Program of Discourse Studies
210 Spuistraat, 1012 VT Amsterdam
Phone: +31-20-525.3834 (dept., direct, 10-12 hrs)
Phone: +31-20-525.3865 (dept. secr.)
Phone: +31-20- (home, after 13 hrs).
Fax: +31-20-639.1727 (not for articles)
E-mail: teun at

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