Things That Matter

Here’s How The Editor Of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Tried To Excuse The Use Of The Word ‘Beaner’

For some people, the New York Times crossword puzzle is the greatest rush. It’s almost like a weekly ritual. They can’t start the day without finishing it. However, the puzzle featured on New Year’s Day had one word that had some people, mostly Latinos, doing a double take.

On Jan. 1, the crossword puzzle in The New York Times featured the word “beaner.”

Twitter/@cahulaan

The hint for the word “Beaner” was another way of saying “Pitch to the head, informally.” The correct word would have been “beanball,” unless they are calling a player who throws a “beanball” a beaner, though referring to a player as a beaner is rare. So how could the writers of this crossword puzzle not understand that?

If you Google “what is a beaner?” there is no other result than it is an offensive word to describe a Mexican or a person of Mexican descent.

Screengrab: Araceli Cruz

After much uproar, the New York Times did issue somewhat of an apology via Twitter. Editor Will Shortz said that “Neither Joel [Fagliano] nor I had ever heard the slur before – and I don’t know anyone who would use it. Maybe we live in rarefied circles.” In other words, they live in exclusive worlds where Latinos do not frequent. “Meanwhile, for any solver who was offended by 2-Down in today’s puzzle, I apologize,” he added.

The apology went on to say that the New York Times crossword puzzle has used words in the past that some may regard as offensive but are actual words.

Shortz said that they have used slang words like “GO OK” which means to proceed all right, but also is a horrible slur to describe a person of Philippine, Korean, or Vietnamese descent. He also references the word “Chink” which actually means something like a “chink in one’s armor” but is mostly known as a derogatory way to describe an Asian person.

A spokesperson for The New York Times went further and acknowledged that the word “beaner” is an offensive term.

“Tuesday’s Crossword puzzle included an entry that was offensive and hurtful,” a spokesperson for The New York Times told TheWrap. “It is simply not acceptable in The New York Times Crossword and we apologize for including it.”

Here’s what people on social media had to say about the appalling way the NY Times used this offensive word.

@BruceMirken / Twitter

It is a very well-recognized word in the U.S.

People expected a lot more from The New York Times.

@pistoleraprod / Twitter

It is truly perplexing readers and non-readers alike. It is a situation so many people never expected.

People are clearly pissed.

@DiegoATLaw / Twitter

If Latinos felt underrepresented in the New York Times before, this certainly isn’t helping matters.

Girl, bye.

@sawofthetable / Twitter

Can’t wait to see the words they use for tomorrow’s crossword puzzle.


READ: You Can Be Sure That Some People Will Wear These Offensive Costumes

Do you think the word “Beaner” is offensive? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!

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Six Dr. Seuss Books Are Being Pulled From Publication Due To Racist Imagery

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Six Dr. Seuss Books Are Being Pulled From Publication Due To Racist Imagery

Don’t call it a total cancellation.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises has made the decision of their own accord to no longer publish or license six of the books written and illustrated by the writer Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel. The American children’s author who passed away in 1991 was also a political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker. His first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), and his book  If I Ran the Zoo (1950) are among the books being pulled as a result of racist and insensitive imagery.

On Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises shared a statement on their website explaining their decision to cancel the publication of the books.

Citing the four other books including McElligot’s Pool (1947), Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953), On Beyond Zebra! (1955) and The Cat’s Quizzer (1976) the company explained that they came to the decision citing the fact that they each “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” explained the statement.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises is a company that, according to Time Magazine, works to preserve and protect “the legacy of the late author and illustrator, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, also noted in the statement that the decision was made over the past year with a panel of experts, including educators, academics, and specialists in the field, who reviewed the catalog of titles.”

Children’s books by Dr. Seuss have long been considered a classic contribution to children’s literature.

The books’ colorful and fun illustrations and rhymes are still to this day instantly recognizable. Recently, however, the writer’s work has been re-examined and scrutinized for racial caricatures and stereotypes. This is especially when it comes to the depictions of Black and Asian people. Many have also pointed out that before he was known as Dr. Seusss, Geisel’s work had been strongly criticized for “drawing WWII cartoons that used racist slurs and imagery, as well as writing and producing a minstrel show in college, where he performed in blackface—a form of entertainment that some children’s literature experts point to as the inspiration for Geisel’s most famous character, the Cat in the Hat.”

Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s announcement of their decision to pull these books coincided with the anniversary of the writer’s birthday.

Geisel’s birthday coincidentally comes at the same time as National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which has long been attached to his books,

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

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A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Photos via MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS, Getty Images

It’s an unfortunate reality that Latinos face immense amounts of racism in America. Case in point: a Florida doctor is facing hate crime charges after assaulting a Latino man at a supermarket.

According to police, a 58-year-old woman followed a Latino man out to the parking lot, keyed his car, smashed his phone, and punched him–all the while hurling racially-charged insults at him.

The altercation happened on Jan. 20th at a Publix supermarket in Hialeah, Florida–a town with a large Latino population. It all started when the victim, an unnamed Latino man, asked Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright to maintain social distancing in Spanish. After she ignored him, the man repeated the question in English.

It was at this point that Dr. Wright, who is an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, became incensed and began muttering curse words under her breath. After the man left the grocery store, Dr. Wright followed him out to the parking lot.

She began to verbally berate him, calling him a “spic” and telling him “we should have gotten rid of you when we could.”

According to the police report, she also said: “This is not going to be Biden’s America, this is my America.” The woman then took her keys out an began to “stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys” while telling him to “go back to his country”.

The man took out his phone to call 911 and the woman allegedly punched him, causing him to drop his phone. When he bent over to pick his phone up, she allegedly kicked him and tried to stomp on his phone.

The woman fled before the police came, but she was arrested on Feb 12th at her home in Miami Springs.

The woman was initially charged with tampering with a victim, criminal mischief and battery with prejudice. The “hate crime” charge was later added, elevating the crime to a felony.

According to reports, Wright posted her $1000 bail and is now awaiting trial. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying that Dr. Wright is “no longer responsible for patient care” after assaulting a Latino man.

According to the Miami Herald, neighbors know Dr. Jennifer Wright as an ardent Trump supporter. Her social media pages are riddled with far-right, Pro-Trump memes and photos of her posing in a MAGA hat. She even uploaded a post that read: “It’s Okay To Be White.”

We can all agree that it’s “okay” to be white. It’s okay to be any race. We cannot, however, all agree that it’s okay to be a violent, racist bigot. We hope the victim has recovered and we hope Jennifer Wright will face justice.

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