Phrases, Gender-Blind, Bounties, Elders

A security guard in Chicago who greeted people with the exhortation to have a "beautiful, blessed day" was told to stop because it was offending some of the building's tenants, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

A.C. Cephus, a security guard in the Lurie Company Building, was told by his supervisor to stop using the phrase or face termination. He took to whispering the phrase, but was finally offered a reprieve after publicity about his problem.

The building's owners now say he can greet people in the fashion to which he has been accustomed.


Local officials in the council of Hume in Australia have banned the serving of ham and pork at public events in order to avoid offending the area's Muslims, reports the Herald Sun.

"Rather than having a situation where staff or members of the community are made uncomfortable or put in a position where they are unable to participate in the meal we share, I felt it would be better to remove the meat," said Darrell Treloar, Hume's chief executive.

"Instead of ham and cheese sandwiches, we can have tomato and cheese," he said.

Bobblehead Brouhaha

A bobblehead doll used to illustrate an article on the mayor's race in Jacksonville, Fla., was called reprehensible because it had faint white marks around the neck that some thought looked too much like a noose, reports the Florida Times-Union.

The doll, representing black mayoral candidate Nat Glover, was featured next to one of John Peyton, who ran against Glover.

Readers complained because the Glover doll had no hands, blobs for shoes, a club instead of a bat, paint specks for a belt and a white mark around his neck that "raised specters of nooses and lynching." The Peyton doll was newer, with a real belt, better shoes, hands at the end of his arms and no marks on his neck.

The newspaper cited the illustration as proof of the need for more African-Americans in the newsroom.

'Ambiguous Genitalia'?

Wesleyan University in Connecticut will in September inaugurate a "gender-blind" dormitory for incoming students who aren't sure what sex they are, reports the Hartford Courant.

Students who opt for the floor will have roommates appointed without regard to their sex, perceived or otherwise. The rooms will be set aside for transgender students, described as those born with ambiguous genitalia or who don't identify with their physical sex.

The gender-blind housing arose partly out of recent changes to the university nondiscrimination policy, which now includes the terms "gender identity and gender expression" in the list of people enjoying special protection.

In the same spirit, students and officials are trying to shy away from use of the term "coed" these days. "We don't really use the word 'coed,' because 'coed' implies one of two genders and a lot of people don't identify with either gender," said one transgender student.

Monkey Business

The parents of a Kansas high schooler are in a twit because one of their daughter's teachers had the nerve to show a movie about the Scopes Monkey Trial during her biology class, reports KMBC-TV.

Celtie Johnson, whose daughter attends Shawnee Mission East High School, says the film, Inherit the Wind, is "intentional offensive bigotry against Christians." They say the film is fine for other classes, but not biology.

Even the Best Intentions ...

Plans by England's Metropolitan Police to offer bounties for new minority recruits have been scotched following complaints that the payoffs smack of slavery, reports the Guardian.

The Met planned to pay black officers about $500 for each minority recruit they attracted to the department.

But Met officials backed off after black police groups complained that the scheme was demeaning and gave the impression black people could be traded.

No Cane-Do

The nearly century-old tradition of giving a cane to the oldest person in one Massachusetts town is being quashed because some seniors said the cane was an offensive symbol of age, reports the Metro West Daily News.

Since 1909, folks in Ashland, Mass., have been giving the fabled Boston Post cane to its oldest resident each year.

Al Dino, 96, was this year's winner. But he will not be receiving the cane. Instead, said Elder Affairs Director Joanne Duffy, "we're coming up with a new tradition to celebrate them and what they've achieved."


The University of Mississippi's mascot, Colonel Reb, may be due for a makeover pretty soon, reports the Jackson Clarion Ledger.

Schools officials are not offering any alternatives as of yet to the debonair Southern gentleman decked out in red and blue, but after consulting with a New York-based researching group, they say Ole Miss may be in the market for a new mascot.

"Colonel Reb has been considered by some to be a symbol of the Old South and the Confederacy," says the paper, and when words like that crop up we all know where this is going.

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!


Cpl. Jerry E. writes:

I believe people need to get a history class. Robert E. Lee was not a slave-owner and did not believe in slavery. The only reason he fought for the Confederates was for States' rights. That was it. I wish all of these so-called oppressed people would read their history books again.

A high school in Huntsville, Ala., is named Robert E. Lee High. They took his picture down, and put up a picture of Martin Luther King Jr., because they felt (the former) was demeaning. I respect Martin Luther King for what he did, and there is no denying he was a great man. The only problem I have is why can't he share a wall with Robert E. Lee, who also did not believe in oppression?

Paul L. in Niagara Falls, N.Y., writes:

"Lookism." Is this even a word? All job interviews are a discriminatory process. Discrimination has negative overtones, but to choose between Heinz and Hunt's ketchup is discrimination. There is something about one that you like better than the other. It is not wrong.

Keith B. in Marysville, Calif., writes:

Although I am not technically albino, I do have vitiligo, which is a spontaneous, irregular loss of pigmentation in various areas of skin including large areas on my forehead, eyelashes, hands, etc. I'll tell you how I feel about the evil albino twins in the Matrix Reloaded. I thought they were one of the coolest parts of the movie.

I'm so sick of people creating victims, I could scream. These doctors need to get a life -- or at the very least get some patients that can occupy their time. It's a movie -- either enjoy it or shut up and let the rest of us enjoy it.

Dwayne K. writes re: last week's Southern Discomfort item:

I worked at the Fort Magruder in 1993 and 1994. The covering of the paintings there is nothing new. It was going on then as well. Though in the time I worked there it never happened for any group besides the visiting judges. To the best of my knowledge no other convention had a problem with the paintings.

It seems to me that if the negative feelings caused by the war were such an important issue, a hotel sitting atop the site of one of the Civil War's major battles -- involving 70,000 troops and claiming 3,800 lives -- would not be the first choice for holding the gathering in the first place.

Capt. James K. writes:

I recently returned from my brother's graduation from the University of Arizona this past weekend, and I am happy to say that during the commencement, the tortilla onslaught was continuous. The liberal notion that a food can be associated with undertones of racism is ridiculous, and I was pleased to see that the new graduates of my alma mater did not succumb to Pete Linkins' pleadings for 'racial sensitivity'. To my knowledge, no one was injured in the barrage. Go Cats!

Julius M. in Columbus, Ohio, writes:

I guess at the risk of sounding like the "PC police," who are so gleefully bashed in this column, I would suggest taking a second to think about questions like "What really is the big deal about throwing tortillas at a graduation or wearing sombreros to supposedly celebrate Mexican-American heritage?"

For me, other questions seem much more relevant. Such as: "Why is one of the poorest nations in the world just south of the wealthiest nation in the world?" "Why are most American students more likely to know who Speedy Gonzales is than they are who Cesar Chavez is?"

It's not about making a big deal out of small things, it's about taking small bits or pieces of the heritage of an entire community or group and using it to somehow represent them, or worse yet, honor them, and then ridiculing them when they have the "audacity" to not agree with this process.

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