Kudos to Quiroa For Getting the Critical Point About the DePetro Flap

In the last hour, the Providence Journal put on line a letter from David Quiroa, the president of the Alliance for Guatemala.

What did he “get”? Not that John DePetro voices the thoughts of “the right”; sometimes he does, sometimes not.

Nor is it true, as Quiroa implies, that the thoughts of conservatives are dominated by racist and, presumably, other hateful impulses that they hide from the public by conforming to political correctness. [Edit: I should clarify here - nor do I think that DePetro is dominated by racist or hateful impulses.]

Quiroa is correct that “hate” or “hateful” speech, should not be silenced. On this point, he echoes the late Christopher Hitchens. Though he usually did so in the course of making the case against the criminalization of hate speech, not identical to the DePetro situation, Hitchens insisted (paraphrasing): let us hear them. Let them identify themselves and their hateful thinking by their own words. (Hitchens on this point, in his own, far more eloquent words.)

Most importantly to the matter at hand, Quiroa gets it that the target of DePetro’s insults was not all of womanhood, as Rhode Island’s public unions, in full, faux swoon, have lately started to insist. Quiroa writes:

He should send a written apology to the female union members he insulted.

Even so, in the framework of our democracy we all win with a DePetro.

That is correct. If DePetro chooses to make a written apology for the repulsive words he used, it is owed only to female members of the public unions who were protesting that Raimondo event, not all the women on the planet. Too many people, either willfully or stupidly, have missed that point completely. (If evidence is needed about DePetro’s lack of misogyny, remember how DePetro became the target of this effort to get him fired: it was in large part because he was defending a woman; namely, the General Treasurer of Rhode Island. This, of course, was preceded by his defense of Ed Commissioner Deborah Gist.)

Quiroa is to be applauded for his insight on that vital point and also for standing up for his own principles in the face of the criticism that he almost certainly knew would inevitably – but wrongly – follow his public comments.

Quiroa’s letter.

As a member of the minority community, I despise “political correctness.” For one thing, political correctness gives bigots the opportunity not to show their true colors. By adhering to political correctness, racists and bigots filter their real feelings.

In Rhode Island there is one person who does not follow the norms of political correctness — WPRO talk-show host John DePetro.

I do not agree with 99 percent of what DePetro says on the radio. He recently used a poor choice of words when he referred to union protesters, including females, as “whores.” He should know better but his arrogance got the better of him. He should send a written apology to the female union members he insulted.

Even so, in the framework of our democracy we all win with a DePetro. The left and the center need to know what the right is thinking — and most importantly, saying — behind closed doors. DePetro says what the conservatives would never say in public as they conform to political correctness.

David Quiroa
Newport
The writer is president of the Alliance for Guatemala.



9 Responses to “Kudos to Quiroa For Getting the Critical Point About the DePetro Flap”

  1. Russ
    December 16, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    'If evidence is needed about DePetro’s lack of misogyny, remember how DePetro became the target of this effort to get him fired: it was in large part because he was defending a woman; namely, the General Treasurer of Rhode Island. This, of course, was preceded by his defense of Ed Commissioner Deborah Gist."

    Ha! By the same logic abusive husbands aren't misogynists because they are married. Case closed!

  2. Terry Gorman
    December 16, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    RIGHT ON Monique !!!!!!!!!!! However, I disagree with Mr. Quiroa's all inclusive assessment of Conservatives.Similarly, as he is well aware, ALL the immigrants he represents do not espouse the same beliefs on ALL the issues facing them .

  3. Mike
    December 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Ahem. Poor logic, Russ. Many abusive husbands aren't misogynists, or do they display a "hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women." Note that it's in general, vice specific. For example, if you distrust the lying cheat down the block–and that person happens to be a woman, are you a misogynist? No–because you dislike the character of a person, not the entire gender.

    Since the man was commenting on the actions of a specific group, not women in general, the over-used term "misogynist"– a term many people accuse men of being to marginalize them (terms like racist, homophobe, etc..) isn't really applicable. But it won't stop the power hungry from trying….or the uninformed from buying it.

  4. Max D
    December 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Russ,
    You're missing the bigger issue. I'm not a fan of Depetro and don't listen to him. I have no problem with politicians who choose to boycott his show. The bigger problem is politicians who have joined in on the forced firing of someone in the media. On its face, it's just wrong but it's also cowardly and panderous. Once Depetro is gone, who's next? Who will the PC police call out next for being ugly? Where will the 'ugly' line be drawn. These kind of things are best left to the private citizen and not our government.

  5. Douglas Farnum
    December 17, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    In the same way liberals don't consider Allen West and Clarence Thomas to be "real" blacks; the Union bigots don't consider Raimondo and Gist real women because they hate them.

    Lets take a look at the rolls of Union leadership… I don't mean the grunt stewards. Lets look at the top guns with the six figure salaries. How many people of color? How many women?

    Crickets….

  6. tim2200
    December 17, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Spot on Douglas. Spot on!

  7. Jana
    December 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    I am a woman….not in a union…and a proponent of free speech. That said, Mr. De Petro has shown signs of misogyny in other rantings.

    Mike is wrong when he says: "Many abusive husbands aren't misogynists, or do they display a "hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women." When you abuse someone you are showing them hatred!

    As a legal advocate for victims of domestic violence it is clear men who are guilty of abuse are in fact most often misogynists….they rarely go after men…only women.

  8. joe bernstein
    December 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Quiroa is a whiner who also seems to think immigration issues only relate to Latinos.Who'sthe racist?Depetro is another story-he really displays an incredible amount of poor judgement and instigation on his show.He is abusive to callers and makes comments that are extremely offensive.The station could do better with hiring Helen Glover who promotes conservative ides in an intelligent and courteous way.She also has had some outstanding guests over the years-not all conservative by any stretch(Carl Bernstein and Richard Holbrooke come to mind) and she is never rude to even the most obtuse of callers.

  9. Guest
    December 21, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    it is also clear that you don't understand what words mean. And has Depetro not gone after both men and women? Can't another reword for men who abuse women be cowards?

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