In Reply to: Chlorine in the gene pool posted by Baceseras on June 14, 2010 at 20:06:
: : Helen, the main character/heroine in the Dead-End Job Mystery series, is on the lam to avoid paying alimony to her deadbeat ex-husband. In "Dying to Call You," she is a telemarketer and thinks, "The computers were calling Kentucky and Tennessee in areas where the gene pool needed some chlorine." I say that is an ethnic slur. Author Elaine Viets says it is not. What say you? More detail: Ms. Viets has worked as a telemarketer and says Kentucky and Tennessee people were the rudest. But she didn't talk about our lack of telephone manners in the book - she made a comment regarding our genetic makeup.
: [Of course it is an ethnic slur, and if she's going to make such remarks she ought to own them for what they are. Telemarketing calls are intrusive by definition and on purpose; I hope my fellow Ohioans gave her an earful when she called here. If she thought we weren't "rude" to her, she just didn't get what we were saying. Tennessee and Kentucky got the point across: so they're "the rudest." - B.]
Since I e-mailed her on her Web site and on her Facebook page, she responded to me twice. The e-mails were slightly different. Not only did she not recognize that what she wrote was a ethnic slur. "I do not think it is correct to say I've written ethnic slur. But Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times did say that my writing was 'acid etched' and that is dead on." She also did not recognize that Kentucky and Tennessee have a predominate ethnic group. "Both states have diverse populations." "Both those states are multi-cultural areas, with many ethnic groups." (By the way, I am always polite to telemarketers. Tough way to make a living.)