Organizers of a St. Patrick's Day parade in Georgia refused to allow a local youth group to carry a cross in their parade because it might have been too "controversial," reports the Athens Banner-Herald.

Leaders of the Irish-American Heritage Society in Augusta told the Alleluia Community youth ministry that the parade "cannot be a platform for anyone's views, standpoints on politics, religion, race." Organizers suggested the kids carry shamrocks instead.

But of Course!

Police say a California professor's claim that her car was vandalized in a racially motivated hate crime has turned out to be a hoax, reports The Associated Press.

Kerri Dunn, a psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College, was preparing to give a lecture about racism on campus when she claimed someone scrawled the words "shut up," along with racist and anti-Semitic slurs, on her car. She said she was targeted for her outspoken views about injustice on campus.

Now, police say she vandalized that car herself.

Campus leaders last week had condemned the vandalism as a hate crime, shut down the Claremont consortium of colleges for a day of anti-hate rallies and called in FBI investigators.

Kinder, Gentler Corrections

Prison guards (er, "correctional officers") in Edmonton, Canada, are not allowed to wear stab-proof vests on the job because they might offend the prisoners, reports the Calgary Sun.

Officers at a maximum-security prison operated by Corrections Canada say the Kevlar vests send a "confrontational signal" to the inmates.

"If you have that kind of presence symbolized by [a stab-proof vest], you're sending a signal to the prisoner that you consider him to be a dangerous person," said Tim Krause, an official at the prison.

"It interferes with what we call 'dynamic security.' We want staff to talk to prisoners, to see how they're doing."

Hero of the Week

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur is so fed up with political correctness at his alma mater, Dartmouth College, that he is running as a dissident candidate for its board of trustees with an eye toward ending the reign of terror there, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Cypress Semiconductor chief executive T.J. Rodgers, a 1970 grad of the New Hampshire school, says he thinks it is wasting scarce money "in the diversity area." He wants the college to stop adding ethnic studies classes and refocus its resources on the fundamentals, such as civics, science and history.

"They're training people to be hyperaware of their differences and hypersensitive to their differences,'' said Rodgers, who believes hard work and merit are America's antidotes to inequality.

Livid Lawyers

Colorado's Better Business Bureau caved to complaints from lawyers and pulled an ad from the airwaves that members of the local bar association called demeaning to their profession, reports the Rocky Mountain News.

The 15-second ad, part of one intended to encourage people to check with them before doing business with people, featured an announcer saying "You inherited a fortune ... You hired a lawyer ... Now it's his fortune."

The ad was banished from the airwaves following a hearing in which the state's two largest attorney groups complained that it was offensive.

Whew!

A woman in Florida who went on a hunger strike to protest the fact that her town's holiday displays were not inclusive enough has ended the effort but promised to keep up her fight in court, reports the Miami Herald.

Sondra Snowdow had consumed only V-8 and orange juice since Dec. 19 to protest a roadside holiday display in Bay Harbor Islands which featured several menorahs and Stars of David.

Town officials plan to include Christmas trees and neutral elements like snowflakes in this year's display, but Snowdow said that's not enough. She had wanted a nativity scene and a "public square" where other holidays like Kwanzaa and Ramadan could be celebrated.

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

Mailbag:

Ann B. writes:

I find it very telling that universities never seem to castigate those "historical black fraternities" for hosting "white trash," "trailer trash," or "prep/jock" parties — where attendees dress in parody of white people.

I was at Texas Tech in the early nineties, when the black fraternity (which of course gets a by on restricting the race of its members) held its first "trailer trash night" and then passed out pictures to white students during lectures. A few months later a Greek fraternity held its first "back to the projects" party. Pictures were taken, although not with the intent of passing them out to black students (I was there). Guess which pictures ended up on the local media?

This patent injustice has got to stop, but what do you expect when you raise an entire culture based in victimization, pander to them with affirmative action, and then put them in a situation where they are expected to act as sentient adults?

Rich K. in Randolph, N.J., writes:

Shouldn't someone who is billed as the coordinator of "Native" American studies at what I can only assume is a respected university know that "Native" Americans came across the land bridge from Asia during the last ice age? Thus, making them immigrants just like the rest of us. They may have come years before the Europeans, but they are not native to this part of the world.

Ken. I writes:

To say that the phrase "Pioneering New Frontiers" excludes Native Americans is to imply that there were no "pioneering" Native Americans - no explorers among them, and none who would dare to seek any new knowledge. Saying that the word "pioneer" is exclusionary to Natives is what demeans the Natives. It implies that that verb cannot apply to their people because it was used as an identifying label for another group.

Victoria K. in the U.K. writes:

I find it remarkable that someone who claims to hate political correctness so much nevertheless defends one of the most insidious examples of it yet. If it's wrong for self-righteous pressure groups to distort language to suit their own aims, why do anti-abortion groups who call themselves pro-life not fall into this category? Is it any wonder that the Los Angeles Times gets confused?

I'm in favor of abortion rights, yet at times I've got confused and said I'm pro-life because I think my viewpoint is more, um, pro-life than that of an anti-abortionist. But still, I'd be willing to leave the term alone if the anti-abortion lobby could do the same.

Vince B. in Medina, Ohio, writes:

I got a laugh out of your "for the birds" report concerning a Northern Italian town requiring pet owners to ensure equal portions are served to their pets. It's widely known that dogs can't discern portion size. When I give my little Pug a piece of hamburger bun while tossing the whole burger into my Bulldog's mouth, the Pug has no idea he's getting the short end of the stick. But what do I know; I still ignorantly call myself a dog owner vs. a "dog guardian."

Amit. K. writes:

You have trivialized the difference between political correctness and civil sensibility. Thanks a lot.

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