This lesson in judging people was taught to a group of reporters Tuesday afternoon by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).
Apparently the Congressman was looking for Politico reporter Scott Wong, so he asked the other journalists gathered in the Speaker’s Lobby for help.
“I can’t assume what he looks like based on the last name,” he told the gathered scribes. “I met a guy with a name like ‘Wong.’ He was a black man from Jamaica.”
Fair enough, dude. To assume does make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”
Gutierrez’s office confirmed that the Congressman recently had a meeting with the regional director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago named Ricardo Wong, and he is, in fact, a Jamaican man of African descent.
“You just can’t make assumptions based on people’s names,” Gutierrez told HOH. “Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Preach.
He also says that he told the journo Wong that “there must be lots of Wongs.” The journalist’s reply, according to the Congressman, was, “Wong in Chinese is a lot like Gutierrez in Spanish: It’s a pretty common name.”
Another fun nugget: Gutierrez challenged his staff to guess Jamaican Wong’s heritage based solely on his name.
One astute staffer with an affinity for reggae called it because he figured Wong sounded an awful lot like Mikey Chung, one of the greatest reggae guitarists of all time, or so we’re told.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.