'Passion' Problems, Fruitcake Watch, Art Attack

Cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado are being admonished for sending an e-mail to colleagues encouraging them to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," reports The Associated Press.

The e-mail was deemed insensitive to students who are not Christians.

The superintendent of the school also criticized students for putting up fliers for the movie in the cafeteria. The action apparently violated rules against product endorsement.

"When you put on your uniform, you do not have to leave your faith or religious convictions behind," said Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Rosa. "Nonetheless, we all need to be sensitive and considerate toward those who may not share our beliefs."

Fruitcake Watch

A government agency in Canada is urging folks there to monitor their local news reports for insensitive use of such phrases as "basket case," "lunatic" and "fruitcake" and report them to officials in exchange for cash prizes, reports the National Post.

The Anti-Stigma/Discrimination Working Group of the Nova Scotia health ministry, in tandem with the Canadian Mental Health Association, says such phrases are inappropriate because they might make the mentally ill feel even worse than they already do.

The group says media reports also can be considered inappropriate if they fail "to reinforce the fact that suicidal risk is related to mental disorders and is not merely a social phenomenon" and if stories of a suicide, for example, are reported on the front page of a newspaper instead of on the inside pages.

Art Attack

City officials in Scottsdale, Ariz., have told a gallery owner there that he must remove a statue of Jesus from the sidewalk outside his gallery or face $5,000 a day in fines, reports the Arizona Republic.

Harold Lyon, owner of the Lyon Gallery, wants to leave the statue up through the Easter season but city officials say it has no place on public right-of-way. Jesus, along with nine other statues, must go, they say.

Lyon notes that he has had the nine other statues, including images of an Apache warrior praying to the gods and a life-size cowboy, in the same spot for well over a year. No one complained, he says, until he had the gall to put up Jesus.

Diversity Problems

A reader of the University of Maryland student newspaper, the Diamondback, says the paper should not include race in its descriptions of criminal suspects because they maintain "superficial social constructions of division based on race and gender" and continues "the stereotype of associating 'black male' with 'criminal.'"

The reader was objecting to an article headlined "Woman robbed at gunpoint by two men on Guilford Rd.," which listed the suspects as "two black males in their 20s."

Ever-sensitive readers of the paper also were apparently irked that it did not give prominent enough play to a Black History Month feature about the university's first African-American undergraduate. The reader said the dismal play meant that the paper had a "diversity problem."

Jeez, Never Mind

A Canadian legislator who accidentally sent a Happy India Day card to an aboriginal group is paying dearly for the mistake, reports Toronto's Globe and Mail.

Conservative Stephen Harper sent a letter of apology to the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres after he sent them a card in celebration of the day in 1950 when India's constitution took effect, cementing its independence from British rule. Harper blamed a clerical error for the gaffe.

But Rick Lobzun, president of the federation, described himself as "shocked and outraged."

"This is 2004, Mr. Harper, not 1492 -- the last time a man got lost looking for India," Lobzun wrote. "It is shameful, Mr. Harper, that you as a potential leader in this country choose such off-hand forms of communication which make you guilty of possessing a poor briefing staff at best and racist approaches to policy at worst."


A black activist's race-baiting at a high school in Connecticut prompted white students to walk out of his speech in protest, reports the New Haven Register, and now some black students want them punished for it.

The speech by Jeffrey Johnson of Speaking Truth to Power Co. blamed systemic racism for the problems of African-American youth and chided white students who, he claims, are sent back to class while offending black students are disciplined by the school.

The white students who walked out said they had heard enough, that divisiveness has no place in the schools.

But some black students, who applauded the speech, said the white students were being disrespectful. They want them punished for showing intolerance.

For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.


Eric J. writes:

The ignorance of the Ann Arbor lady who created the anti-Ho Chi Mama web creator is astounding. For her to believe it's about "Ho's" and "Hoochi mama" rather than Ho Chi Minh really shows the stupidity of the Left.

Karry H. writes:

Oh, yes! Society must definitely be on the lookout for those scheming kindergartners and their "coldhearted marketing ploy[s]!" The last time I checked, giving a gift to your friends was neither cold-hearted, nor a ploy. A child (and some adult was involved, I presume) was simply giving out something he/she thought to be an extra special present. Allow me to remind you of the basis of the Christian faith: to share the love of God with everyone. Calling this single incident a "ploy" is beyond dramatic.

John W. writes:

How strange that Professor Elyse Crystall, when searching her vast vocabulary for terms to describe insensitive and hateful behavior, came up with "white," "heterosexual," "Christian," and "male." I guess that makes those hate words and I would appreciate it if people like her would stop using those words. Have they no sensitivity to feelings of people disadvantaged by non-minority status?

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