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  1. HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Apr 2005
    • Posts: 449

    Newspaper article 16June05 - Racial bigotry in aisle 66 (2/2)

    Again, for reference, the following is the link to the full article.

    It didn't end there. It never does. Clearly, I still think about our encounter even if that stupid young man doesn't. No, not stupid; foolish and careless.

    He's either spending more time on his homework or he's planning another attack. Because that's what it was.
    c1. Because that's what it was - is he referring to 'attack'?

    Next time he'll strike from behind -- a passing shove into a store display -- or he'll better his odds. As five young men did, some years ago, while beating a harmless old coloured man to death. His name was Nirmal Singh Gill, he looked after a Sikh temple in Surrey, B.C., and they were labelled skinheads. How convenient, because such labels beg for excuse while the rest of us wash our hands with outraged decency.
    d1. such labels beg for excuse...? being skinheads beg for excuse? I don't understand.

    d2. while the rest of us... - who would be the 'rest of us' - literally the 'rest of us'? or is he referring to a certain group of people? (i.e. coloured people)

    d3. wash our hands with outraged decency - all I know about this part of the sentence is that I shouldn't take it literally. Whoever the 'rest of us' would be, they're not literally going to washroom and washing their hands. So what is he trying to say?

    Again, thank you very much! I'm having a great fun learning English here.

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Re: Newspaper article 16June05 - Racial bigotry in aisle 66 (2/2)

    c1-- yes.
    d1-- such labels ('skinhead') easily allow us to excuse such behaviour by assigning it to that small minority of bigots instead of facing the larger problem ourselves and doing something about it.
    d2-- yes, all of us who are not skinheads or related racists.
    d3-- 'wash one's hands of' = relinquish responsibility for.

    And he's not 'trying to say' it, HKB-- he is saying it, albeit somewhat idiomatically!


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