Say what? Iowa first lady slammed blacks,

gwhunter69

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Say what? Iowa first lady slammed blacks, Easterners and Southerners as bad speakers

By David R. Guarino
Read Guarino's Road to Boston Blog
Monday, July 26, 2004

Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, a key factor in John Kerry's primary sweep and the primetime convention speaker tomorrow, has derided blacks, southerners and easterners as bad speakers because she couldn't understand them.

In inflammatory columns for her local newspaper obtained by the Herald, the normally soft-spoken Vilsack tore into several minority and ethnic groups while lampooning non-midwesterners for regional dialects.

``I am fascinated at the way some African-Americans speak to each other in an English I struggle to understand, then switch to standard English when the situation requires,'' Vilsack wrote in a 1994 column in the Mount Pleasant News, while her husband, Tom, was a state senator.

Vilsack wrote that southerners seem to have ``slurred speech,'' wrote that she'd rather learn Polish than try to speak like people from New Jersey, and wrote that a West Virginian waitress once offered her friend a ``side saddle'' instead of a ``side salad.''

The future Iowa first lady seemed to be promoting English as the nation's official language, an issue that tripped up her husband, Gov. Tom Vilsack, with many Democrats.

A Kerry campaign spokesman dismissed the quotes as ``ancient clips'' and referred questions to the Democratic National Convention Committee.

The DNCC wouldn't say whether the comments match the convention platform or theme.

An educator for 30 years and former eighth-grade language teacher, Vilsack has made language and literacy priorities as first lady.

She has become a key power player in Iowa politics and is widely credited with breathing new life into Kerry's flagging presidential bid in January with her endorsment a week before the kickoff Iowa caucuses.

At the Jan. 12 endorsement event, Kerry said of Vilsack, ``Christie is the first teacher, not just the first lady.''

Vilsack's Aug. 24, 1994, column was particularly critical of dialects from other regions of the country. In addition to the knock on African-Americans, Vilsack knocked residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

``Later, on the boardwalk, I heard mothers calling to their children, `I'll meet yoose here after the movie,' '' she wrote. ``The only way I can speak like residents of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania is to let my jaw drop an inch and talk with my lips in an `O' like a fish. I'd rather learn to speak Polish.''

Two years later, in a column about her trip to the Olympics in Atlanta, Vilsack said she had ``language problems.''

``When I ask for directions, I can't understand the slurred speech of southern Americans, who are so polite and eager to please,'' Vilsack said.

Vilsack didn't return calls last night but said earlier this month she'd be speaking about real American values to convention delegates tomorrow night.

``I'm going to talk about Main Street values because I live on Main Street,'' Vilsack said.
 

Welby

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Hmm...cain't says I blames her. Some folk jus' don' know how ta talk et all.
 

birdhunter88

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All I can say is big "f" deal. I wished her and her husband would just leave so we can get our state back in order like it was before they moved into the Governor's Manison. (Did I spell that right ?)
 

Cloak N Dagger

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Originally posted by gwhunter69@Jul 26 2004, 02:12 PM
wrote that a West Virginian waitress once offered her friend a ``side saddle'' instead of a ``side salad.''
Maybe she and her friend and were acting like a horses a$$.
 
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