Tongue Tied

A Nassau County, N.Y., corrections officer is suing her department over an in-house diversity exercise that she says went too far, reports Newsday.

In an annual seminar titled "Cultural Diversity," Patricia Luca's name and that of another officer were used in a scenario in which two colleagues carry on an illicit affair that eventually goes awry, descending into quid-pro-quo sex and jealous violence. After the exercise, the story was posted throughout the department with lewd comments on it, Luca said. She said she was embarrassed and humiliated, suffered emotional distress, and had her self-esteem and personal dignity destroyed. 

Dead White Males Causing Trouble 

A drama professor from Arizona State University who insists he was fired for teaching the works of dead white males over the objection of campus feminists has settled his lawsuit against the university for $395,000, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Jared Sakren sued for wrongful termination and violation of civil rights when he was fired from the university for what it called an inability to get along with colleagues and poor performance. Sakren insists he was fired because his "sexist take" on works by Shakespeare and Moliere irritated the campus PC crowd. The lawsuit was five weeks into trial when the school settled and agreed to pay Sakren. 

Mommy, Why Is the Ice-Cream Man Wearing a Dress? 

The mayor of Portland, Ore., Vera Katz, wants to put a halt to discrimination against transsexuals and people who dress, look or act like the opposite gender in that city. Katz wants to expand a 1991 city ordinance to ban "transgender" discrimination by landlords, employers, restaurants, shops and bars. The city's deputy city attorney, Madelyn Wessel, said the rules would allow employers to require a "consistent" gender identity. Employees would not have the legal right, for example, to work dressed as a man one day and a woman the next. But men who consistently came to work dressed in traditionally female clothing would be protected, she said, even if they still look like men and even if their attire drives off some customers. A city council hearing on the subject is scheduled for Dec. 13. 

Scientist Unwelcome at U.C.-Berkley 

Nobel laureate James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA and initiator of the Human Genome Project, outraged an audience at the University of California at Berkeley for sharing his theories about biochemical links between skin color and sexual activity and thinness and ambition. The 72-year-old discoverer of the double helix said at the lecture that there may be a link between exposure to sunlight and sexual urges, suggesting, "That's why you have Latin lovers — you've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient." He also, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, said overweight people tend to be happier. Berkley graduate students and their teachers in attendance stormed out "in shock" over the comments, which they described as racist and sexist. 

Ringing in the PC Season 

After getting complaints that the annual serenade of Christmas carols from the bell tower was offensive to non-Christians, officials at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania have decided to ring in the holidays with music from various religions and cultures. They looked for a disc of non-traditional music to play in the programmed bell system but couldn't find one, the AP reports, so members of the music department are creating their own. 

Alan W. Sends in the Following: 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that there will be no Christmas parade in that city this year. The Downtown Partnership and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, which sponsors the parade, said such a moniker excludes a portion of the community and has decided to rename it the Little Rock Holiday Parade. "I just wanted to make sure it was all-inclusive," said an employee of the organization. 

Bob L. Alerts Us to the Following: 

A Democratic deli owner in Chicago banned two customers because he says he got tired of hearing about their Republican beliefs. "I stood here and bit my lip while I've heard every view they've wanted to spout at me over the last two weeks," said co-owner Bill Wood. "I can't leave my business and go away from them, so I guess the solution to that is to ask them not to come back in here." The customers said they can't recall saying anything harsher than, "I hope Bush wins." The ACLU, of course, said the deli owner is within his rights. "In a private setting, being a Republican does not protect you from discrimination under state or federal law," said American Civil Liberties Union spokesman Ed Yohnka. 

More Mail from the Central Servers: 

From Jeff B: 

I have been in the Army fixing helicopters for almost seven years now. It bothers me to read that the ACLU has decided that some school names and mascots bearing the name of certain ethnic groups is offensive. In my opinion this is just another political football that the ACLU has decided to pick up to help their cause to do more harm than good. All of the aircraft in the United States Army inventory are named after American Indian tribes except for one, the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter. The rest are the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk, OH-58 Kiowa, AH-64 Apache, UH-1 Huey Iroquois, C-12 Huron, OV-1 Mohawk (recently phased out), TH-67 Creek, and the soon to be fielded RAH-66 Comanche. Is the Army offending anybody by naming these instruments of freedom after noble American Indian tribes? I doubt it. 

Steve W. on the ACLU's removal of crosses from a WWI memorial in the Mojave: 

Does the ACLU not respect the rights of anyone? I would personally find it offensive to stomp on the religious beliefs of others by destroying a memorial. Are we to go next to Arlington National Cemetery and remove the crosses, Stars of David, and various other religious symbols because they exist on public land? 

From David M: 

I am a student at Eastern Michigan University. Some years ago we were under pressure to change our team name. We changed it from "Hurons" to "Eagles." The Huron Indians (and they want to be called Indians) wanted us to change it back. Government pressure kept us from doing it. All this civil rights B.S. is further erasing Native Americans from our history. 

From Chuck Mc: 

When will the oppression end? As a Scottish-Hyphenated-American, I am mortally offended by the insensitivity of a large corporation demeaning a respected Scottish name like "McDonald" by using it to market non-Scottish fare to an unsuspecting public. I am further outraged by its unconscionable practice of having their employees wear pants instead of proper kilts. I am instigating a class-action suit on behalf of everyone of Scottish descent, living or dead, demanding that McDonald's add haggis to its menu and drop its pants at once.