Fri, Nov 4, 2011 4:11 PM EDT

Each

week we highlight one person or group as the Drop the I-Word Friday

Friend. Our Friends are special advocates who take a stand for

undocumented immigrants and against the i-word.

—————————

Our Drop the I-Word Friday Friend this week is writer Gustavo Arellano, author of the famed “Ask a Mexican” column based at the OC Weekly.

<p class="MsoNormal">This week, Arellano addressed a question from a reader who wanted to know if any terms like the n-word exist to abbreviate or diffuse anti-Mexican slurs.<span>  </span>He informed readers of the i-word and addressed the racism behind the term "illegals" in that it's most often equated with Mexican people. <span><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gustavo-arellano/ask-a-mexican-illegals-an_b_1070119.html?utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_source=twitterfeed">Read his great column here.</a></span><span> </span>

</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>The anti-Mexican, anti-Latino discriminatory message is not explicit, but rather coded. </span>When we take a look at how some media and politicians use the epithet paired up with images of brown-skinned people, its very clear. We don't often hear about undocumented white immigrants being described this way. Remember the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb-zZM9-vB0">horrible Sharon Angle ads of 2010</a>?<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb-zZM9-vB0" target="_blank"></a> <span>Use of the i-word creates anti-immigrant sentiment and affects attitudes toward all people of color regardless of citizenship status.</span></p>



<p class="MsoNormal">No human being should be subjected to the dehumanization of the i-word especially because we have alternative terms that are sound (see the stylebook in our <a href="http://colorlines.com/droptheiword/resources/en/">Toolkit</a>). As a public we deserve legally accurate language and a reasoned debate. Help us spread the word! <br /></p><div><p class="p1" style="border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; text-align: center; ">---------------------------</p><p class="p1" style="border-style: initial; border-color: initial; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; "><i>Do you know someone who'd make a good Drop the I-Word Friday Friend? Let us know at <a href="mailto:droptheiword@colorlines.com">droptheiword@colorlines.com</a>.</i></p></div>