John RaeseRepublican John Raese is running for Senate in West Virginia against sitting governor Joe Manchin. The seat is important enough it could make the difference between a GOP or a Dem majority in the Senate in 2011. Think Progress thinks that Raese is unqualified because he apparently has a propensity to mess up names. TP wants us to know that it is especially ethnic names that he messes up (hint: to the Democrats that means he is a racist in waiting). Of course, The Daily Mail of the UK and our own Washington Post can’t get Raese’s name right either, misspelling it “Rease”. One of the names Raese couldn’t remember was Sonia Sotomayor. But if a website called Latina.Com can’t spell her name right, what’s a schlub from West Virginia to do? And who can forget Ted Kennedy calling Barack Obama Osama Bin Laden during the 2008 campaign?

What’s an ethnic name, anyway? Does the English name Llewelyn count? Or that Irish favorite O’Connor? While learning to teach English as Second Language, I was reminded that we all have accents. We just think it is everybody else that talks funny. The same with names, everybody’s name is ethnic. So cut it out with the race baiting already.

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