Officials at Kansas State University (search) have fired the student newspaper's faculty advisor after black students complained that the paper did not cover one of their events, reports The Associated Press.

Ron Johnson, who has served as student publications director and news adviser to The Kansas State Collegian for 15 years, was told he will be forced out of a job at the end of the school year.

The minority students are miffed because editors at The Collegian did not send a reporter to a Big 12 Black Student Government Conference (search) on campus. The paper ran a story in advance of the event, but did not cover the event itself.

Black student leaders said the decision was insensitive and staged a protest march in April demanding that Johnson be dismissed.

Airborne Slurs

University of Arizona (search) officials are urging graduates yet again not to engage in the time-honored tradition of hurling tortillas at commencement ceremonies because the practice is said to offend folks of certain ethnic groups, reports the Arizona Wildcat.

University President Peter Likins is asking the deans of each college to discourage the practice because "in some people's memories, tossing the tortillas is a historic slur. It's stereotyping the Mexican-American community in ways that some people find offensive."

Judge-Speak

Judges in the U.K. are being urged by the Lord Chancellor to avoid the term "asylum seeker" because it now has pejorative connotations, reports The Guardian.

A book on racial and religious sensitivities handed out by the judicial studies board, which trains judges, says the term is now associated with people who don't have genuine claims to be refugees.

The book has a number of other PC-speak terms that should and shouldn't be used henceforth.

The phrases "mental handicap" and "the disabled" are out. The new preferred language is "learning disabilities" or "people with disabilities." Other expressions on the out include "man and wife," "girl" (unless speaking of a child) and "businessmen."

The book also says that reference to minority communities as "ethnics" is patronizing and should "certainly be avoided."

Multi-Culti

Complaints by state officials in Maryland about service workers who don't speak English and the failure of multiculturalism have been called inflammatory and racist by community groups in that state, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Last week, state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer openly complained about a McDonald's cashier who couldn't speak English, and followed it with criticism of the separatist bent of multiculturalism.

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich followed it up with the comment, "Once you get into this multicultural crap, this bunk, that some folks are teaching in our college campuses and other places, you run into a problem."

"With regard to this culture, English is the language," Ehrlich said. "Can [immigrants] obviously honor their ethnic traditions and languages at home and other places? Of course. They are not mutually exclusive. The point here is there is a major distinction between ethnic pride, which is appropriate, and multiculturalism, which is damaging to the society in my view."

Community groups in the state demanded that Schaefer apologize for the remarks. They called them an "attack on their humanity," and demanded that the state offer subsidized English lessons for anyone who needs them.

Gender Variance

Student government leaders at Harvard University want the university to remove male-female designations from restrooms in order to make them more inclusive toward students whose sexuality may be ambiguous, reports the Harvard Crimson.

The president of the Undergraduate Council, Matthew W. Mahan, sponsored the bill, which urges Harvard to remove male or female designations from all single-occupancy bathrooms. The bill passed by a 32-3 vote, but only after heated debate.

Joseph R. Oliveri contested the language of the original bill, which called for a clause explicitly granting transgender and gender-variant people the right to use any restroom they deem appropriate.

"The proponents of the bill have not been able to give a concrete definition of who is gender variant," Oliveri said, adding that the new bill would allow anyone — himself included — to enter a women's bathroom.

His Name Is Punch, Right?

A puppeteer in Great Britain has been told that the Punch and Judy show he has performed for years is too violent for little minds, reports Wales on Sunday.

Ronnie Alden was scheduled to perform the show for 5- and 6-year-olds at Woodside Primary school in Owestry, Wales, but the show was cancelled by school officials who said Punch's whomping on Judy was too intense.

Alden, 70, said he has performed the show in front of hundreds of thousands of kids and this is the first complaint he has received.

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

Mailbag:

Patrick and Lisa in Albuquerque write:

Ah, the double standard in Albuquerque again. Where is El Centro de la Raza or the Chicano studies department at UNM when it comes to one of the local eateries here in Albuquerque, namely the eight Garcia's Kitchen's? Their marketing logo, worn on all employees' shirts, proudly states "Help stamp out gringo food."

Can you imagine the uproar if I used the word "spic" or, God forbid, the "n" word (as we now have to refer to it) in an Anglo promotion?

Oh yeah, that's right, only white people are offensive, and only "minorities" can be offended.

Kirk F. writes:

The University of Iowa Hawkeyes cancel a baseball game against Bradley University because they are named the "Braves?!" Ironic, no? The "Hawkeye State" was first suggested by James G. Edwards as a tribute to Indian leader Chief Black Hawk.

Karl L. writes:

I'd like to see the University of Iowa really stand up for its principles and cancel all future football and basketball games against Illinois (the FightingIllini, complete with Chief Illiniwek), and refuse football bowl bids or basketball tournament bids against teams with Indian mascots, even at the cost of taking forfeits and lost revenue. Sure, it's easy to blow off a baseball game against Bradley, but let's see if they really have the guts to be principled when the big bucks are on the line.

David R. writes:

I think I understand the true meaning of diversity. If I attack traditional values it's "free speech." If I attack the protected groups it's "hate speech."

Stephanie W. writes:

While I usually read your article and laugh at the stupidity of the PC wars violently raging in our country, I do not find anything "wrong" with the fact that Hispanic women were upset when they were exploited to sell beer. I mean, what else is new? Everywhere you look, scantily-clad women (sometimes wrestling each other in a pool half-naked) are used to sell beer. However, this ad campaign was so blatant that it deserved to be taken down. I'm glad the Latinas stood up for themselves, refused to play the victim, and actually did something about it.

Adam S. writes:

Lobsters knowing they are going to their doom? Now, that's funny! I must agree with Ms. McGarry on one matter though. She is right that lobster and loud music don't go together. I prefer mine with soft jazz, along with melted butter.

George M. writes:

If the lobsters are smart enough to know that "they are going to meet their doom" when the music starts on the game, why aren't they smart enough to stay away from the lobster traps in the first place?

Jennifer S. writes:

I normally love your column, but the lobsters do deserve better! There's no need to torture your meal before you eat it. When killing animals (humans, too) is treated as a game, it sends a dangerous message about the preciousness of life.

Tom C. writes:

Conservatives are sounding more and more like hippies with the passing of each day. By hippies I mean whiners. By whiners I mean human garbage. By human garbage I mean just regular garbage.

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