The School of Education at the University of Oregon is in a full-blown "multicultural crisis" because a speaker at a career guidance workshop suggested that people interviewing for jobs make direct eye contact and use firm handshakes when meeting with prospective employers, reports the Daily Emerald.
During the Career Beginnings conference in February, a student of color suggested that her culture does not encourage such interactions. The speaker then launched into an explanation that failure to follow his advice might lead to a "blemish effect" that can harm the interviewee's chances.
The student of color interpreted that to mean that her culture was "a blemish" and was distraught.
The incident has prompted students of color to demand diversity training for the entire staff, a five-year plan to address issues of cultural sensitivity and new procedures for handling complaints from distraught students.
According to Bodies Like Ours, an intersex support group, Franken was insensitive when he said conservative talk show host Sean Hannity (search) was "born a hermaphroditic conjoined twin" and "the doctor who delivered him and his twin reacted in horror at their birth."
Following a flood on angry e-mail, Franken apologized for "furthering the unjustified stigma attached to these conditions." He said an estimated one in 2,000 people is born with atypical genitalia, which like conjoinment is a naturally occurring bodily variation.
"I am sorry for the ill-considered joke," he said.
Whatever Happened to Integration?
A group of Muslim academics in the U.K. accused the state school system of being institutionally racist because there are not more publicly funded schools that cater exclusively to the needs of Muslims students, reports the Guardian.
A Muslims on Education policy document calls on the government to roll back mixed-sex classrooms, set aside special prayer rooms for Muslim students, require religious education for all students, mandate religious awareness training for teachers and staff and create special classes on Islamic subjects.
Britain's largest minority community should have access to more Muslim state schools and non-Muslim schools should adapt more fully to the community's needs, the report's authors contend.
The 'Last Haven'?
A university professor has found yet another form of egregious profiling going on in our world today and describes it as the last haven of discrimination, reports the Grand Rapids Press.
Denis Preston, a professor of English and linguistics at Michigan State University, says people routinely use speech to determine the race or socio-economic status of a speaker and consequently discriminate against people based on that information.
The report says laws currently don't reflect the ability of Americans to identify people on the basis of language, something that obviously needs to be corrected immediately.
Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells is being excoriated for describing his assistants' sneaky plays as "Jap plays" during a news conference, reports Knight-Ridder.
Parcells was asked about his assistant coaches' approach and replied that they were going to use "what we call 'Jap plays.' OK? Surprise things." He paused for a moment before saying, "No disrespect to anyone."
American Asian groups contacted by reporters covering the event called the remark racist, dehumanizing, insensitive, offensive and disturbing. But an actual Japanese person who was there said it was no big deal.
"I wish everyone would just forget it. I admire Coach Parcells very much," said Akira Kuboshima, editor of American Football Magazine in Japan.
Government officials who arrested more than 100 people for trading in black bear parts are being labeled racist because most of the people they arrested are Korean, reports The Associated Press.
An undercover sting operation in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley (search) targeted buyers of black bear parts, which are considered to have medicinal properties in some Asian cultures. Most of those charged in the operation received probation or suspended sentences with fines or restitution; none have been ordered to actually serve time.
Critics of the operation are calling it culturally insensitive. They are also irked that agents who didn't speak English informed the customers that what they were doing was illegal by using the pantomime, for example, of being led away in handcuffs.
They called the latter an "unacceptable and degrading way to signal the situation's severity to a vulnerable population not fully integrated into the United States."
For more doses of politically correct shenanigans, heads on over the TongueTied daily site.
Leigh S. writes:
The idea of anyone using their race as an excuse for the murder of a two-year-old child is BEYOND belief. Anyone who would support his "post traumatic slave syndrome" for a defense of the murder of a child is also a criminal.
I am a father of a two-year-old son. Just the thought of a person looking into that child's eyes, then murdering him, brings me to tears. But then to have the unbelievable gall to pull the race card as a defense for murdering a two-year-old child angers me beyond words. I can only hope there truly is a Hell.
Maybe when he gets there, this animal will get what he deserves.
Mark H. writes:
I hope that Bill Cosby keeps ringing the bell to help low-income blacks realize and utilize the opportunities the civil rights movement won for them. I hope that more people than his target audience eventually listen. It hurts me to see anyone believe that education is a betrayal of themselves or their culture, and I love to see someone that I respect as much as Bill Cosby stand up and expose the Emporers New Clothes.
In my lifetime, this nation has thrown off the yolk of government-supported racism, and is progressing every day towards Dr. Kings dream. In my son's lifetime, we shall get even closer. Provided that we listen to reason, and those ringing the bell.
John M. in Massachusetts writes:
With what right does "Christian" Aid reword the Lord's Prayer? Jesus himself almost 2,000 years ago gave that prayer as a model for how we should pray, and these people are putting words in the mouth of God.
As for the Twenty-third Psalm, it is just plain ludicrous to change such a beautiful passage. It is the single most popular Psalm in the world because of its beauty, simplicity and the calm security it offers. If the Hebrew King David had meant to say "full-scale violent confrontation", he would have said it. However, he didn't, and we have a passage thousands of years later that is still just as comforting as it was to King David's soul.
What "Christian" Aid has done is foolish and is undermining the faith on which they are supposedly based. This is beyond political correctness; this is blasphemy, and I for one pity those who choose to alter the word of God.
Dennis M. in Atlanta writes:
By trying to avoid the word "crusade" to appease Muslims, writers are paradoxically reinforcing militant thought. In its modern context "crusade" has typically come to mean a metaphorical war against a social or natural evil (such as a crusade against illiteracy or a disease). As such the word now has very strong positive connotations. The archaic meaning of a military campaign against Muslims requires modifying the word, typically for historical purposed (such as "the Crusades" or "the Second Crusade").
By linking all usages, even positive, to it archaic base, writers are ironically attributing the positive connotations to the militant use of the term. They are leading people to think about religious war, and not necessarily as something to avoid. Politically Correct writers are actually reviving an idea that was best left to the history books.
Andrew G. writes:
Why did you mention the story of the boys who were disciplined for their displays of the Confederate flag? Did you consider that maybe it represents to African-Americans roughly what the Swastika might mean to the Jews? The true shame is not even those students who were being stupid and immature, but the State of Mississippi itself, which apparently has yet to grow up.
Stephanie R. North Pole, Alaska, corrects us:
AK is Alaska, not Arkansas (which is abbreviated AR). But thanks for printing part of my email.