Published September 17, 2004
Some folks in North Dakota are worked up about the U.S. military's plans to use their state as a site for war games and call the area "Dakistan" during the games, reports the Bismarck Tribune.
The term, an apparent reference to the stans of central Asia, is described as insensitive and offensive not just to "new citizens" but also to the Native Americans from whose language the word Dakota derives from.
The military wants to use the state for four-season Special Operations training, but editorialists at the paper say perversion of the Sioux word "Dacotah" by the military is insulting to American Indians and to newcomers displaced from war-torn lands.
An Italian-American leader says a movie due to be released by the Dreamworks team in the coming weeks promotes anti-Italian bigotry to children because it features animated sharks in the roles of mafia mobsters.
In an op-ed piece in the New York Daily News, Rosario Iaconis of the Italic Institute of America calls the film "Shark Tales" a "cinematic exploitation of children" that "would make Marcello Mastroianni spin in his grave."
Lurid Mafioso-like voice-overs and language such as "Capeesh," "Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom," and "Fuhgeddaboudit" serve to reinforce dangerous stereotypes about Italians and their relation to organized crime, Ms. Iaconis says.
Seal of Approval
Los Angeles County has unveiled a proposed new official seal, one that in order to appease the American Civil Liberties Union has a cross-less Spanish mission on it and no pagan goddess, reports the Associated Press.
City officials were forced to change the seal after the ACLU complained that a tiny gold cross on the old one was an illegal endorsement of Christianity by the city.
The new design also omits the oil derricks present on the old one, but adds a Spanish galleon, a couple of engineering tools, a tuna and a dairy cow named Pearlette. A cross that adorns the top of the San Gabriel Mission was removed from the image on the new seal.
ACLU attorney Ben Wizner praised the new images as more inclusive and even "pretty."
Racial Intimidation in Rhode Island
A college professor in Rhode Island is under disciplinary review because she failed to punish two students for openly expressing what were described as "racially intimidating" comments about minorities and welfare at a university preschool, reports the Providence Journal.
Accounting professor Lisa Church is accused of fostering a racially intimidating environment. The charge comes from a student-mother who overheard other mothers at the preschool engaged in a heated conversation about welfare and race.
The offended student demanded that Church, who did not hear the conversation, punish the other students. When she refused and offered sensitivity training for the students instead, Church herself was accused of racial discrimination.
That Time of Year Again
Columbus-haters are promising "non-violent direct action" against the annual Columbus Day Parade in Denver this year unless its organizers change the name to Italian Heritage Day, reports the Rocky Mountain News.
Leaders of the American Indian Movement, which have been complaining about the parade since 1990, called on supporters to wage a massive protest against the Oct. 9 (the "day of Columbus hate speech") parade.
AIM followers consider Columbus a genocidal maniac not worthy of celebration in America.
For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.
Did it occur to The New York Times and to Mr. Morgan that the NBA players featured in "NBA Ballers" and other video games are paid for the usage of their names and likenesses? I guess I have been mistaken all these years about the definition of "minstrel show." I hardly think a black NBA player portraying himself for pay in a video game constitutes a minstrel show.
If that's the case, every real NBA game would qualify as well, since the players are being paid to perform the same acts in the flesh rather than in virtual mode.
Gwen C. writes:
Just wanted to respond to your comments about foreign students. You said that these students "refused to pay a little bit more" — that is simply incorrect.
If you take a look at student fees for foreign students at any public college or university you will see that they pay significantly more in tuition and fees, often two or three times as much (see fees for International students at NYU, SFSU, and UMass-Amherst).
I would also point out that many foreign students have the added hassles of obtaining student visas, arranging for health insurance, and limited work options due to visa restrictions.
The presence of foreign students in the classroom is a huge benefit to American students as they are highly motivated and engaged and bring with them different perspectives and experiences.
Allan D. writes:
How times have changed! During World War II, Messrs. Hitler, Mussolini. Hirohito and their cronies were continually lambasted, ridiculed, stereotyped, demeaned, etc. in every medium, at every opportunity.
Had some organization calling itself the "American German (or Japanese, or Italian) Anti-Discrimination Committee" dared to protest such treatment on any basis whatsoever, the group would have come to a sudden, calamitous and permanent end.
In today's era of Enlightened Political Correctness, however, it appears to be perfectly okay for a group calling itself the "American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee" to protest arcade games targeting bid Laden and Saddam — worthy successors to Hitler & Co. — under the guise that such entertainment causes people to hate Arabs.
Someone should point out to these folks that it's using hijacked planes to brutally murder thousands of innocent Americans that causes people to hate Arabs, not silly boardwalk games.
Michelle D. writes:
It's amazing that these people get all in an uproar about how video games portray minorities (Blacks, Muslims) but everyone seems to think the violence these games commit against Women is just A-OK. (I believe it is Grand Theft Auto that gives you extra points for raping and killing women — it's one of those wretched games.)
Of course, the people I have the biggest beef with are the parents who let their children play the extra violent games … I agree with the man in the NY Times article for keeping them away from his children. You may have been mocking him for his "PC"-ness, but there is scientific evidence that these violent games are harmful for many reasons.