Memo to Kelly Siegler: Blame Canada


More news from the Chuck Rosenthal / Kelly Siegler DA’s office: a 2003 email has surfaced, from one ADA to the rest of the prosecutors and the investigators, congratulating a prosecutor on convicting a guy while overcoming “a subversively good defense by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant . . . .”

You might well first ask, “well, so what?”

Then you might realize that Harris County is a terribly long way from Canada, and the chances of more than one Canadian making his way onto a Harris County jury are somewhere between slim and none.

Then, upon reflection, you might realize that “none” is probably the correct chance, since jurors in Texas must be U.S. citizens.

You might then wonder what “Canadians” means, and how it found its way into the email.

It just wouldn’t make any sense to you until somebody told you that “Canadian” is cryptoracist slang for “Black”.

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0 responses to “Memo to Kelly Siegler: Blame Canada”

  1. Mark,

    Your commentary on the Harris DA email scandal is great. Keep it up. I have just send my first ever open records request that contains the word “Canadians.”

    Wonder how far this spreads.

    On a side note- South Park: The Movie, contains a song entitled “Blame Canada”. If memory serves it was nominated for an Academy Award.

  2. I might eventually have come across your blog eventually, given the number of hours a day I spend online, but I was surprised to see a link to it here: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005321.html

    Yes, it makes perfect sense that the Language Log would link to this post, and I’m delighted to be here. Of course, now I have to poke around a bit – browse the archives and all. Good thing I spend hours online…

  3. I first heard the word “Chinese”, referring to black people, from my girlfriend’s father in Minneapolis back in 1987. I wasn’t sure what he meant until he said a little more and it became clear. I wonder what the Chinese say to refer to black people or vice versa.

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