The New Yorker Claims Popular Game is Racist

( – According to a The New Yorker December 18 article, crossword puzzles can be considered racist, as the popular game fails to reflect “immigration” or “multiculturalism.” The article’s author Nathan Last suggests that the lack of so many modern cultural and political trends can make minority groups in the United States feel discriminated. He pointed out that these puzzles usually rely on a fixed set of answers and clues that could lead to a narrow representation of different cultures, experiences, and languages that can result in a “crooked” perspective that excludes many.

In his op-ed, Last added that one of the main problems about crossword puzzles that “some people” want to ignore is that many of the clues could unintentionally reinforce some stereotypes by focusing on “predictable” aspects of some cultures. The author explained that mentioning specific landmarks, foods, or names can “perpetuate” some “cliches,” rather than delivering a nuanced understanding to players.

He also pointed out that the dominance of the English language in this popular game could be “unfair,” as it could marginalize and even exclude players who don’t speak English and ignore the “richness” of some other languages. Last explained that crossword puzzles can lead to “linguistic biases” by treating non-English words as unfamiliar or “exotic.”

The author mentioned that some achievements in the game could not only be overrepresented but also reinforce the “biased view” of what many consider significant or noteworthy. He noted that “this aspect of the game” can unintentionally relativize the accomplishments of many underrepresented groups that live in the United States.

The New Yorker author wrote in conclusion that many of the answers and clues that the game provides sometimes lack sensitivity to some of the most “delicate” issues that are happening in the world, along with “diverse perspectives.” Last said that every simplification or inaccuracy in representing foreign cultures or international conflicts and events contributes to a one-sided worldview that affects foreigners and minorities in the country.

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