Why I found Leonard Pitts' op-ed column on ethnic branding worth reading, I don't know, but I did find it one-sided and full of misguided opinions. While I don't condone naming sports teams after any ethnicity, I take offense to his assumptions that the Irish, or for that matter, any nationality was assimilated. The Irish people worked hard to assimilate themselves, it wasn't heaped upon them. This holds true for people of most every nationality that came to America.
To suggest that a people are enveloped by a nation as soon as they cross the border is misleading and totally inaccurate. His article also assumes that because a person is Caucasian, he can't be offended by stereotypes. I myself, along with many people I know, was intrigued by the movie title "White Men Can't Jump."
I am also rather amused at the new television commercial that shows a tall African-American basketball player making a fool of a short, uncoordinated, white man trying to score a basket on him. While the commercial is amusing, I couldn't help but wonder if the tables would be allowed to be turned and show a similar situation with the roles reversed.
The bottom line is, you can't play on both sides of the fence. Racism is wrong and assumptions about any race cannot be condoned or supported by the media. Making excuses only gives reason for finding excuses for shortcomings, failure and mistakes.
THOMAS ROGERS Eden