Ugh! Pioneers, Blackface Problems, Animal Rights

A group of students and professors at the University of Nebraska says the school's new tagline, "Pioneering New Frontiers," should be reconsidered because it might offend American Indians, reports the Daily Nebraskan.

"There were people here before the pioneers," says Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, coordinator of Native American studies at UNL. "They have always been here and are still here. And the tagline doesn't include them."

The officials who chose the line say it is meant to represent innovation and forward steps, but John Wunder, UNL Academic Senate president and history professor, said he had received calls from several people who called it "exclusionary."

Life in LA

The Los Angeles Times has a rule that the phrase "pro-life" will not appear on its pages because it might offend the pro-abortion crowd, reports Reuters, something a witless opera reviewer found out the hard way.

A music critic for the paper wrote that a Richard Strauss opera was "pro-life," intending to mean that it was a celebration of life. But he had his story changed by a copy editor to read "anti-abortion."

"It's about children who aren't born yet screaming to be born — not abortion," said the critic, Mark Swed. "Somebody who didn't quite get it got a little bit too politically correct ... and we had a little breakdown in communications."

The ban apparently doesn't extend to the phrase "pro-choice."


Crying and Hugging?

Two Georgia State University students who were sighted at an off-campus hip-hop-themed party with their faces painted a dark color have been charged with discriminatory harassment and may be expelled, reports the Atlanta Constitution.

The two members of a fraternity were spotted in blackface by someone from a "historical black fraternity" at a party with the theme "Straight Outta Compton." That someone did not want to file charges, but the university promptly did. The pair have been suspended from the fraternity and face diversity training at a minimum and possibly expulsion.

The incident prompted several hundred students to turn out for a forum about it last week, during which students were described as crying and hugging.

Party Problems

The Cornell University community is in an uproar over the mere rumor that someone there may have showed up at a fraternity party in blackface, reports the Cornell Sun.

The school's Interfraternity Council received a report recently that someone coming from a "Ghetto Fabulous" party was acting in "apparent disrespectful stereotypes regarding people of color." A full-blown investigation is now underway, and a Bias Incident hearing is pending.

"Ghetto Fabulous" parties have become a favorite among many fraternities and sororities on campus, the Sun says. But an anonymous source who attended the party in question denied that anyone came in face paint. The "rapper" clothing people wore may have triggered the complaint, she said.

Zero Tolerance

A high school sophomore is suing a school district in Indiana after he was suspended for wearing a T-shirt bearing the likeness of an M-16 rifle and the text of the Marine Corps creed, reports the News Sentinel.

Nathan Griggs, 16, was suspended from Fort Wayne Community Schools in March because the tee shirt violated the school's policy on offensive and violent clothing.

The offensive text, written by a Marine Corps general after the attack on Pearl Harbor, focuses on the relationship between a Marine and his or her rifle, and is also known as "My Rifle."

For the Birds

City officials in a town in Northern Italy have passed animal rights legislation that essentially bans the boiling of live lobsters as "useless torture," reports the Daily Telegraph.

The new law, passed in the town of Reggio Emilia near Bologna, also requires "sociable" birds to be kept in pairs, regulates the size of bird cages, makes it illegal to keep a goldfish in a round glass bowl and requires owners to ensure that each pet sharing a meal gets an equal portion.

Some city residents were obviously caught off guard by legislation.

"I'd like someone on the council to explain how people are supposed to determine that a bird is 'sociable,'" said resident Davide Nitrosi. "Also, how am I supposed to kill a lobster before cooking it? Hit it on the head?"

Hmmmm ...

A new book says up to one million Europeans were abducted and enslaved by North African raiders in the 16th and 17th centuries — a number that is far higher than previously known, reports the Guardian.

In a new book, "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800," historian Robert Davis says hundreds of thousands of people were snatched from coastal towns throughout the Mediterranean and as far north as England.

The white Christians were seized every year to work as galley slaves, laborers and concubines for Muslims in what is today Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, the book claims.

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


Dana F. writes:

The energy and vehemence with which you and a lot of conservative radio and TV hosts attack all these "PC" people — who at least give a darn when people are treated inequitably — would be better spent doing some real good in the world. Not that I always agree 100 percent with what is done for political correctness' sake, but those things are far less dangerous than what is happening to our rights to free thought, speech, privacy, equality, to a clean environment, to know what our government is doing behind closed doors, and to the right to not die in a fabricated war under the current Bush administration. Those are things worth railing against.

Michael W. writes:

I cannot even begin to understand how it is OK for every liberal person in America to protest every little thing they believe to be offensive, but when white kids get tired of having to sit through a speech blaming them for some imaginary race conspiracy against black students, it is considered intolerant and disrespectful for them to leave — not even protest, just leave. So I guess everyone's feelings and beliefs matter and need to be respected except for white conservative Christians.

Kevin K. writes:

I am amazed at the attitude of my minority brothers and sisters. They seem to think because there is racism that has been directed at them that it gives us the right to have the shoe on the other foot. Why don't any minorities and civil rights advocates remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said when he had a dream that his white brothers and sisters and his race be able to sit on the mountain in peace. At no time did he mention, "It is now our turn."

Mel B. writes:

I love old-town Scottsdale and the art district, and this complaint annoys me. From what I understand, it was ONE guy complaining about ONE statue. And the Lyon Gallery is the only business that has been given a warning. Why? If I were to complain about the Islamic art that some galleries display, would it be taken down? No. We have to be more "diverse," meaning that Christians are no longer welcome. Excuse me for offending you with my tolerance. 

Jim M in Lynchburg:

I think it strange that every position piece that is contributed to has to have some reference to the Gospel According To Mel. The poor Christians, they sit around every day wishing the Bill of Rights didn't exist so that everyone would HAVE to go to see Mel's movie that should be titled "The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre." The poor majority, they just don't get no respect, darned old Founding Fathers, what were they thinking?


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