Students at all-female Smith College in Massachusetts have voted to remove all feminine pronouns from the school constitution and replace them with gender-neutral ones, reports the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The move is part of an effort to make transgender students feel more welcome. According to the report, a growing number of such students are uncomfortable with the pronouns "she" and "her."

"Smith College is a college for women, and within that there is a place for all kinds of women," said Brenda Allen, director of institutional diversity.

Lansing's Priorities

City officials in Lansing, Mich., say they are so broke they have to cut nearly two dozen fire and police officers but they still have the money for more than $150,000 on diversity programs, reports the Lansing State Journal.

Three weeks after announcing the cutbacks, in fact, Mayor Tony Benavides spent $20,000 to bring in Harvard law professor Lani Guinier to speak at the February kickoff of his Mayor's Forum on Race and Diversity.

Benavides now wants the city council to give him another $140,000 in diversity funding for next year, including $75,000 for lectures. That money would also fund diversity training for students and community dinners to foster understanding.

Flip-Flop

South India's News Today is pleased to report that an American clothing company that put images of a Hindu god on a pair of sandals has withdrawn the offending product from the market.

American Eagle outfitters apologized for featuring the image of Lord Ganesha on a pair of flip-flops.

The sandals apparently caused a major furor among Indians living in the States, who demanded that the "insensitive and offensive" slippers be shelved.

Never Mind

A college football player in Florida is claiming that a coach's use of the terms "redneck" and "cracker" in his presence created a racially insensitive atmosphere that led to his not getting to start in the big game, reports the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Derrick Crudup, a backup quarterback for the University of Miami, says quarterback coach Dan Werner's use of the terms intimidated him to the point that he feels he won't get a chance to start as quarterback until the offending coach is removed. Werner used the terms in reference to himself.

"We're supposed to be talking about coverages and reading defenses, not him asking, 'Who's a redneck?'" Crudup said. "We're talking about a room full of all white males and I'm the only black man in there. Exactly how am I supposed to feel about what they're discussing, and what am I supposed to think they say about me when I'm not in the room?"

Later in the week, Crudup changed his mind and said race wasn't a factor after all.

Safe Learning Environment

An elementary school student in Nampa, Idaho has been told he cannot wear a T-shirt with a U.S. soldier on it because the gun the soldier is holding might send the wrong message, reports KCBI-TV in Boise.

The shirt sported by 11-year-old Ethan Jansen, a student at Park Ridge elementary school, featured a monument at the Fort Lewis military base in Washington state. It shows "Iron Mike" hoisting a rifle with a star in the background.

In a statement, school administrator Phil Cano said, "The district dress code prohibits any clothing that may be construed as being violence-related ... we are proud of this student and in fact we support the patriotic theme of the T-shirt but we need to be consistent in providing a safe learning environment for all."

Brainwashing in Britain

The Daily Telegraph reports that in Britain the term "brainstorming" is now frowned upon because it might offend people with epilepsy.

Teacher trainees there are apparently being told to avoid the term and instead use something like "word storm" or "thought shower."

Can't wait until next Monday for more snippets of politically correct nonsense? Head over to the daily edition of Tongue Tied at the Tongue Tied Web site.

Mailbag:

Lynn S. writes:

Keeping a distinct line between church and state ensures freedom of religion. The more this line blurs, the more likely you are to having the government tell you what religion you may have. Keep your cross away from school, Brenda Nichol, and enjoy your religious freedom. If the government gets to choose a religion, it may not be yours.

Semmes W. in Austin, Texas, writes:

You have got to be kidding me! I cannot believe they suspended a teacher's aide for wearing a cross in Pennsylvania. I don't know what's worse, the suspension or that the school code prohibits wearing religious garb — do you really think that the administration would suspend a Muslim woman for one year for veiling her hair? Somehow I highly doubt it, because that, of course, would be discrimination.

Jim E. in Wilmington, Del., Writes:

Will the editors try to establish a percentage factor in regards to diversity (12 percent African-American, 13 percent Hispanic, and what are the other choices?) to give an accurate picture? Will this mean that if more than 12 percent of the news relates to African-Americans, nothing else can be mentioned? If a photo contains both a Hispanic and an African-American (or if the photo contains those of mixed heritage), who gets credit, or do they cancel each other out?

As I am an English-Scottish American Indian, what percentage of the news will be allotted to my background?

Oh, forgot, I'm a male, so probably won't count.

Eric S. writes:

I think that because Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both owned slaves, we should shun them from our history. Burn any books that mention their names, take them off our money, and white out their names on the Declaration of Independence.

Stan E. writes:

The radical left has discovered a powerful weapon in the current craze to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. They wield this weapon to great effect.

What I don't understand is why the victims of this bludgeoning do not pick up the same weapon and swing it back at the PC Police.

An excellent opportunity was illustrated in the case of Meghan from Tallahassee (Mailbag, 04/28). A student action against the Women's Center for the hostile environment they maintain would be a good object lesson for both the university and the Women's Center.

In the best case, the school would refuse to discipline the Center, paving the way for a civil suit for damages. When the institution is banning the display of American flags, they would have a hard time defending a poster declaring "I love my c---"!

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