Poor Rick Sanchez

I feel sorry for Rick Sanchez.

And it's not because I don't think what he said was anti-Semitic. It was. It was also petty and ugly, calling the media's most influential liberal, Jon Stewart, racially prejudiced when he clearly is about as unprejudiced and non-parochial as anyone can be. (Stewart is, in my opinion, the very best thing about the mainstream media. No competition either).

Nonetheless, I feel bad for Sanchez because his attack on Stewart and Jews was not the adult Sanchez talking but the hurt Latino immigrant child who has always felt (rightly or wrongly) that white America looked down on him.

That is how it must have been for him at 6. And he still can't get over it.

He thinks that when people like Jon Stewart see him they see a dumb Latino who should be cleaning tables. He's wrong. They see a smart, provocative and movie-star handsome guy who has it all, and got it through hard work (and luck too, like everyone).

As a society, we need to understand that minority kids of all kinds (and the white poor as well) are constantly stripped of their self-worth by a society that still squashes people who are "different." That poor kid who jumped off the George Washington Bridge the other day -- essentially driven off the bridge by hate -- testifies to what an ugly country we can be to children who don't fit in.

And many of them never get over it. After all, if Rick Sanchez is still hurting so badly, imagine all those immigrant kids with accents, or kids from the hood or Appalachia or who are taunted for being gay or Jewish or Jehovah's Witness or whatever. This is a wonderful country for those who fit in. For the others, it's a hell that saps their souls.

Sanchez should be allowed to apologize and move on. One thing I'm sure of, Jon Stewart understands where Sanchez is coming from. He, too, can see the hurt boy in the man. After all, it's no picnic being a 5'7" tall Jew either.