Slave Slur, Irate at the Iditarod

Published September 20, 2004

| FoxNews.com

A college football coach who referred to an opposing team as "Mandingos" was forced to apologize after being told the usage was racist and derogatory, according to The Associated Press.

In his weekly press conference, Marshall University coach Bob Pruett called the Ohio State Buckeyes "a bunch of Mandingos." He said he used it in an effort to explain superior physical ability.

"I was trying to be complimentary. I would consider it complimentary if someone called me a [Mandingo] warrior ...," he said. "I didn't mean it to be derogatory to anyone."

But Charles Farrell, director of Rainbow Sports, a division of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, wants Pruett punished.

"The Mandingos [of West Africa] were known as big, strong people, but their size and strength was an asset only for doing the work of slaves," Farrell said. "You went out and said, 'Let's get ourselves a Mandingo because they're big and strong and they can pick cotton all day long or they can chop wood all day long.' Even if you're trying to look for the original Mandingo connotation, it's totally misplaced," Farrell said.

Toga Tantrum

A railway worker in the United Kingdom whose daily bulletin board joke featured one about dyslexia is facing disciplinary action and possible dismissal for offending mentally disabled people, reports The People.

Keith Smith, a ticket clerk at a station in East Sussex, writes a daily joke on the station white board in an effort to amuse commuters. One day, his joke read: "Hear about the dyslexic who went to a toga party? He dressed as a goat!"

Officials with the railway wiped the board clean after receiving three complaints in two hours. They said the joke might contravene the company’s equal opportunities policy. (Via Samizdata.net)

Religion = Racism

A California school district is claiming that wearing a T-shirt stating one’s religious opposition to homosexuality is the equivalent of wearing one with racist epithets or Nazi swastikas, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In a lawsuit over free speech rights, officials at Poway High School insist that 16-year-old Tyler Chase Harper had no right to wear a T-shirt reading "Homosexuality Is Shameful" and "Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned" on the day of the school’s annual pro-gay Day of Silence.

Harper has sued the school, claiming it violated his constitutional rights to free speech and free expression.

Crusader

A Pennsylvania man is on a quest to rid a local Catholic high school of the "crusader" nickname because he says it represents an evil, violent chapter in the history of the Christian church, reports the Patriot News.

Carl Silverman is mounting a one-man campaign to force Bishop McDevitt High School to change its mascot. He also wants the school to change wording on its Web site that refers to the school seal as "the shield of a Crusader, which serves to protect us from the secularism of the world."

Silverman thinks the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association should ban the nickname altogether.

Crusaders, he said, refers to medieval military expeditions by Christians who "killed thousands and thousands of people with the encouragement of the Catholic Church."

"The pope apologized for the Crusades, yet these schools continue to use that term," he said. "It is time they realize what they represent."

Iditarod Abuse

Animal rights extremists are demanding that the planned appearance of a female Iditarod champion at an event in New York be stopped because her appearance promotes the "barbaric" sport of dog sled racing, reports the Post-Standard.

DeeDee Jonrowe, a breast cancer survivor who holds the fastest women's time in the 1,100-mile Iditarod race in Alaska, was scheduled to speak at last weekend’s Wild Women Unite event in Pulaski, N.Y. The event was intended to teach women to empower themselves by having fun outdoors.

But organizers received a number of e-mails complaining about Jonrowe’s appearance, claiming that "animal abuse is not empowering for women." They claim that evil Iditarod mushers push their dogs to inhumane limits during the race.

(Hat tip to Steven G.)

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Jim in Kansas City writes:

If you would read "The Trail of Tears," and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," I think you would have a different opinion of Native American's feelings about Columbus and later the brutal people who "settled the west." i.e. stole the Indian's land.

I recently vacationed in the Black Hills of South Dakota and came away with a completely different appreciation of what Native Americans have lost and endured. They have little reason to admire Columbus. And we white people have little to be proud of for what we did between 1800 and 1880, systematically stealing their land, their heritage and practicing genocide.

We don't need to rub it in.

Dan M. writes:

When is (the ACLU) going to realize that there is a difference between ‘endorsing religion’ (which isn’t the same as the Constitution’s ban of ‘establishing religion’) and ‘endorsing our nation’s history’? The image of a Spanish mission church without the cross that it represented is a ridiculous misrepresentation of the facts. Why do they insist on rewriting instead of celebrating the history of our great nation?

Jeff S. writes:

I was sorry you didn't make a more thoughtful attempt to defend Columbus from what you dismissed as "politically correct nuttiness." Having read about occasional protests against Columbus Day parades, I was looking forward to seeing you present one or two of AIM's specific claims, followed by a rebuttal based on historical information. Even four or five sentences would have been appreciated, given your space limitations.

Instead, you settled for the same sort of superficial retort I've come to expect from the belligerent shopkeeper who works next door to me. The difference is, he admits he's a knee-jerk hick who never finished high school, while you -- a professional writer -- presumably have much more education and discipline at your command.

Since you're among those comparative few lucky enough to get paid for spouting opinions, you should at least make an effort to support those opinions with a few facts. Surely it's reasonable to expect you to provide your readers with more substance than they could get from my bellicose friend, the hillbilly dropout.

Tom C. in Burbank writes:

Just a brief correction regarding the changing of the Los Angeles County Seal. You stated that officials were forced to change the seal. They were not forced, they chose to. They caved. They capitulated. They crumbled before a lawsuit. But, then, that's LA, capital of casual cowardice.

Scott H. in Dakistan writes:

I live in Dickinson, Dakistan and assure you that all but about 12 kooks here will let you call us and our state anything you want if you are bringing decent paying jobs.

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