Tongue Tied: A Report From the Front Line of the Culture Wars

Shortly after the Montgomery County, Md., school board forced Poolesville High School to change the name of its team, the "Indians," because it is offensive to some Native Americans, school officials there said they were already starting to get complaints about the district's use of animal-inspired mascots, reports The Washington Times.

Eugene "Yogi" Martin, Washington County schools athletic director, said a number people have questioned whether it is right that such "animalistic" names are used for the district's sports teams. "Some of these people are very strong in their beliefs," he said.

Martin said the district is not about to abandon animal-inspired team names, but that 15 years ago when he heard the first complaints about Indian names, he didn't think that debate would go anywhere either. "I just never know the thoughts of folks anymore," he told the paper.

At least one Montgomery County Council member, Nancy Dacek, said she would fight any such proposals should they come along. "I don't want to see the day when our sports teams are reduced to being called the 'Daisies' and the 'Snowpersons,'" Dacek said.

Apology Accepted 

A public school district in Wisconsin has agreed to let a student hand out religious cards to classmates in school after all, reports The Associated Press

To settle a lawsuit, the Kettle Moraine School Board agreed to publicly apologize to second-grader Morgan Nyman for refusing to allow her to pass out Valentine's Day cards with such messages as "Jesus loves you" and "Freely rely on God."

Earlier, the district had maintained that to do so would violate the separation of church and state. The board revised its policy about what is acceptable to distribute in school in order to settle the lawsuit. 

Dissing Aaliyah Deemed Racist 

The Rev. Al Sharpton says a column by New York Post writer Rod Dreher was "shocking and racist" because it said singer Aaliyah was an "undistinguished singer of forgettable pop songs" not worthy of the elaborate funeral held for her in Manhattan last week, reports the Post.

At a press conference, Sharpton said he was "outraged" by the column and promised that, "we will bring down anybody who tells us how to mourn our own." He accused Dreher of "racially profiling" and called on the Post to "apologize to [Aaliyah's] family and the community, and take measures against the writer ... and those who approved the column." 

No Giving Thanks in Kentucky 

Following intervention by the American Civil Liberties Union, two anti-discrimination agencies in Kentucky have agreed to discontinue blessings and benedictions at public events, reports the AP.

The ACLU said it had received complaints about the before-meal blessings at the Jefferson County Human Relations Commission and about prayers at least two meetings of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

Complaints about the blessings were resolved last year without litigation. But the informal settlements were not disclosed until last week, when they were reported in the ACLU's quarterly newsletter.

Negative Stereotyping in the Movies 

Some members of the National Association of Black Journalists are irked about an upcoming Denzel Washington movie that they say portrays blacks in a negative light, reports the Orlando Sentinel

Members of the group got a sneak preview of the film, Training Day, last week in Orlando. In it, Washington plays a homicidal narcotics officer that is training a straight-arrow white rookie. 

Director Antoine Fuqua heard a litany of complaints about the contrast between Washington's character and the white one and his portrayal of a corrupt black character.

Who Do You Trust? 

The board of education of Collier County, Fla., has voted not to hang posters with the national motto, "In God We Trust," in the schools because it would likely prompt a lawsuit, reports the Naples Daily News

The local Christian Coalition wanted to hang the posters in schools, "to promote patriotism and a love of country," said Jerry Rutherford of the Christian Coalition. 

But several speakers at a contentious school board meeting last week said such a move would marginalize non-Christian students. "I'm lucky to not only have freedom of religion but freedom from religion," Barbara Giacalone, a parent and member of the South West Florida Pagan Association, told the board.

Eco Feminism and Other Adventures in Higher Ed 

In its annual report, Comedy & Tragedy: College Course Descriptions and What They Tell Us About Higher Education Today, the Young America's Foundation last week listed what it calls the "Dirty Dozen" of outlandish and politically biased courses on American campuses today. 

Among the offerings detailed is a course called Black Marxism at Vassar College, which argues that "global racism works to shatter possibilities for solidarity, distort the meaning of justice, alter the context of wrong, and makes it possible for people to claim ignorance of past and present racial atrocities, discrimination, exclusion, oppression and genocide." 

Also on the list are courses entitled Eco Feminism at Villanova University which explores "the role of ecofeminist thought in the development of a 'postmodern' societal paradigm and in a radical reconsideration of destructive and unquestioned beliefs concerning justice, peace and community" and Multicultural Biblical Criticism at Harvard University, which claims, "African, Asian, Indigenous, Latin American, Aboriginal, American Indian, Latina/o-Hispanic, and Australian studies as well as, ethnicity, feminist, womanist, black, queer, liberation theological, postcolonial, and third World studies, have begun to de-center the hegemonic paradigm of biblical studies."

From the Central Servers (a special WorldNetDaily edition): 

Ron P. writes:

Taking potshots at world net daily is a BIG mistake although not as big as your inflated ego!!! Go to CNN where leftists like you are hiding out!

Bill and Pat write:

[We] would like to take exception to your "World Nut Daily" article. WND prints articles that the major news media (Fox News also) refuse to discuss. You act like you might be a resident of "Condit Country," or a heavy supporter of Slick Willie.

C.F. writes:

Well Done! Finally somebody with the balls to stand-up to idiocy! While WorldNetDaily is usually fairly good in its reporting, taking shots a J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter stories is absolutely nuts! You've got a fan in me, buddy! Keep up the good work, and don't let the idiots grind you down!

Jack P. writes:

Just how did a Socialist like you get a job at Fox News ? You are the perfect "Watermelon", Green on the outside and RED inside.

Roy B. writes:

Dear Mr. Nurdvell: Your column last week attacking WorldNetDaily (re: Harry Potter) is unsubstantiated and foolish on your part. You are not a journalist but rather a loud mouth who spews to get attention hoping to further your career. I do hope Fox News discovers their blunder in hiring you and rectifies it before loosing valuable readership (or faces a law suite).

Janine C. writes:

While in general, I like many of WorldNetDaily's articles, I have to agree with you that they have gone off the deep end by highly promoting the video showing the "dangers of witchcraft" presented in the Harry Potter books. All the fantasy I read as a child never made me "Satanic" or any such thing. I also have a problem with their constant negative slant against homosexuals. Other than those two items, the site has brought me very informative and insightful news that is hard to find elsewhere and there are a few writers/commentators on the site that I have appreciated for years before they came to WND. I would not put down the entire site nor call them names (that was not really called for)--but I do think they need to focus on real concerns and stop the "witchhunts" (pun intended).

Dave K. writes:

Norvell, take your socialistic views and shove them UP your ......nose!

Kay S. writes:

The glass in front of your view needs cleaning - then maybe your views wouldn't suck so much.

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