Did Rick Sanchez deserve to be fired?

I have a new post up at Global Comment

Jon Stewart has spent quite a bit of time making fun of Rick Sanchez, and this week, Sanchez appeared on the satellite radio show “Stand Up! With Pete Dominick” and fired back.

Sanchez called Stewart “a bigot.” If he had simply left it at that, the popular host of “Rick’s List” might still have his job today.

Sanchez began by quite rightfully asserting that there are large cultural and economic differences between him and Stewart. What follows is a partial transcript of the conversation by Mediaite.

Dominick: How is he a bigot?
Sanchez: I think he looks at the world through his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.
Dominick: What group is he bigoted towards?
Sanchez: Everybody else who’s not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?

I don’t believe it is at all bigoted to suggest that coming from a different frame of reference might potentially make Stewart unable to understand what it was like to grow up poor and Hispanic. There seems to be this idea that if you grow up with a particular marginalization, that you are aware of what others who face different oppressions go through. All bigotry is bad, but oppressions are not akin to each other. Even as we recognize this, it is important not to engage in oppression Olympics.

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