A Native American group is denouncing as racist hate speech an editorial in The Wall Street Journal filled with objectionable Indian stereotypes.
David Hollis, director of communications for Oneida Indian Nation, writes to Jim Romenesko's Medianews.org that the Journal is on a crusade against American Indians and Indian gaming because it used phrases like "Big Chief Pataki," "Great White Father Pataki," "pow-wows with the Mohawk and with the Oneida Indian Nation ...," and "traded beads with unions ..." in an editorial.
"American Indians have never found that kind of hate speech to be fun," Hollis writes. "Neither have they enjoyed being belittled or reduced to racial stereotypes or shoved to the margins of society by the likes of The Wall Street Journal."
Hollis said that when his group complained, the response from the Journal was "even more flippant." The race card "has become the first refuge of scoundrels in American politics. The folks who play it are usually trying to deflect attention from the real issue," was the response, Hollis said.
The 150-year-old tradition of saying grace before meals at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland may have to be swept aside if a recent ruling against the nearby Virginia Military Institute is upheld on appeal, reports the Baltimore Sun.
In January, a federal court ruled that saying grace before meals at VMI is unconstitutional, supporting an American Civil Liberties Union claim that such a practice crossed the line separating church and state.
The case is currently on appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., and could set a precedent covering religious practices at military schools and other public colleges like the Naval Academy, legal experts say.
Though the academy's 4,000 midshipmen must be present at mealtime, they have the choice whether to say grace or not. The practice dates back 157 years to when the school was founded.
Dozens of students at the City University of New York Law School don't think the national anthem should be performed at that school's graduation because to do so would signal acquiescence in the slaughter of innocents by American forces around the world, reports Campusnonsense.com.
In an ongoing e-mail dialogue among some students, one writes, "I'm suggesting that if the national anthem is sung at graduation, I will puke so violently that I might further ruin the ceremony."
"What happens in Afghanistan has nothing to do with my freedom," writes another. "It has everything to do with the freedom of Unocal to build a pipeline and make some serious dough. It has everything to do with the freedom of military contractors to make serious dough by continuing to build bombs that kill civilians — civilians just like the people in the WTC — in Afghanistan."
"We are already in a place where killing is done in the name of God," writes another. "Please find one, just one, speech in which President Bush, or any other President does not end his paen to imperialist slaughter by praising God."
Resegregation Here We Come
The Kansas City, Mo., school board has agreed to create an African-centered middle school to improve the self-esteem of students in the district, reports the Kansas City Star.
The issue of creating the school has come up before, but board members said they wanted more time to study the issue before making a decision. Several black parents called the delays a result of racial bias on the part of white school board members.
The district currently teaches African-themed history, geography, culture, values, and languages at two elementary schools and a high school as part of the regular curriculum. But there is currently no middle school with that theme.
The European Union is proposing new laws that would force member states to declare racism and xenophobia crimes carrying prison sentences of at least two years, reports London's Daily Telegraph.
The draft proposals define racism and xenophobia as feelings of hostility to individuals based on their "race, color, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin." If they are put into effect, the Telegraph says, police would be able to send anybody suspected of these offences for trial anywhere in the EU.
Under the commission's plans, it would also be an offense to trivialize or deny Nazi Germany's mass-murder of the Jews. Laws against denying the Holocaust already exist in seven countries, including Germany, France and Austria.
Another Big, Happy Family
Plans by students at Michigan State University to hold a separate "Black Celebratory" ceremony in addition to the usual graduation is drawing fire from some who say it promotes separatism, reports the Detroit Free Press.
But supporters of the "celebratory" said it is needed because many black students from urban areas overcome unique financial and social obstacles to earn a degree and should be recognized for their perseverance. Nikki O'Brien, coordinator for African American Affairs at the school, said white students' criticism is misguided.
"The response of critics is indicative of white privilege, because they don't really understand why this is a significant accomplishment for black students," she said.
Nearby, the University of Michigan holds separate, smaller celebrations for many ethnic groups including Latino, Native American and Jewish students, each event highlighting the respective group's customs.
From the Central Servers:
Ed D. writes:
There may be some who look at historic pictures of the KKK and be drawn towards racism, but those pictures have on me a similar effect as those of the Holocast do: they remind me of a dark era in American history where a few cowards showed that they did not understand what it meant to be human. History should not be forgotten, both the good and the evil, lest we become proud about who we are and in our pride repeat our mistakes. Reminders of our country's evil compel me to be sure that I would do what I can so that those acts of evil do not occur around me.
Shariq T. writes:
Depicting KKK rallies is an excess of political correctness?! What kind of redneck Nazi are you? I should have expected as much - FoxNews is run by bigots, rapists, (expletive), and terrorist sympathizers.
P. Simpson in Porterville, Calif., writes:
And how, pray tell, does PETA know if a cow in a pasture feels demeaned? Do its shoulders droop, does its head hang in despair, does it chew its cud in a melancholy manner? And why does PETA think that humans, in the presence of the cow, demean the cow? Is one human okay, but 10 are demeaning? Are 10 okay, but 100 are demeaning? It's a hoot to think that these people really take themselves seriously.
Nick H. in Winesburg, Ohio, writes:
Thank God that Cartoon Network came to its senses and removed that nasty mouse. I remember when I was six years old watching cartoons, I thought to myself, "Self, that Speedy Gonzales is showing Mexicans in a very derogatory light. I hope they take it off the air."
I'm sure other 6-year-olds felt the same way, because we all know that 6-years-olds are paragons of political thought and cultural sensitivity.
David G. in Eugene, Ore., writes:
Since Speedy Gonzales is offensive to Mexicans because it portrays them as a bunch of lazy drunks, then I think Seinfeld is offensive. I am a white middle-class male. The Seinfeld show portrays white middle-class males as obnoxious, neurotic freaks devoid of any positive human quality. I will not stand for such discrimination on my airwaves! Oh wait, I can change the channel... Nevermind.