A group scheduled to sing old spirituals during a halftime show at the University of Illinois was uninvited when officials learned it was going to make reference to God in its songs, reports the Daily Illini.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics scheduled the a cappella group SoulEssence to sing during Black History Month but backed out when they saw the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which contains the G-word, and "Thank You, Lord" on the playlist.

Members of the group were understandably confused.

"Why would you invite a minority group for Black History Month and not let us sing the (Negro) National Anthem?" singer Amanda Burrell wondered.

Is There Something in the Water in Cambridge?

A student at Harvard University who just wanted to create a few jobs and make a little extra money by offering to clean his fellow students' dorm rooms has run afoul of the student paper there for stirring up class warfare.

In an editorial, the freedom-loving capitalists at the Harvard Crimson have called for a campus boycott of Harvard sophomore Michael Kopko's Dormaid business.

"By creating yet another differential between the haves and have-nots on campus, Dormaid threatens our student unity," the Crimson said. "There are already plenty of services at Harvard that sharpen the differences between socioeconomic classes."

Newsflash

The Athens Banner Herald has discovered that openly Christian university professors feel a bit out of sorts on the University of Georgia and other American campuses these days.

Several openly Christian professors tell the paper it's odd that they are considered eccentrics worthy of ridicule on campus when their views actually coincide with the majority of Americans. People who profess to be open-minded close shop when it comes to religion, they say, or at least some forms of religion.

"If supposedly open-minded intellectuals made the kind of remarks about people of Jewish faith that they make about Southern Baptists, they would be penalized, if not sued, for libel or slander, or denounced for their bigotry," English professor Jonathan Evans tells the paper.

It's Not Always Amusing

The Arizona Daily Star paints a chilling portrait of a sexual predator who ran amok at the University Medical Center in Tucson in part because staffers who suspected foul play were afraid to speak up for fear of being labeled racists.

Daniel Lugo Perez, a former UMC patient-care technician, was convicted of sexual assault for raping and sodomizing a number of patients during the 23 months he worked at the Arizona hospital.

Investigators attempting to figure out how he was able to do this under the staff's noses said one of the reasons is political correctness. At least three UMC nurses thought Perez was staying too long in female patients' rooms, but the one who spoke out was immediately pegged a racist and shouted down by the rest of the staff.

Sanity Prevails

A Pennsylvania chapter of the NAACP is ridiculing a local city councilman's assertion that a community development film is racist because it features white developers and black community leaders, according to the Daily Local News.

Coatesville City Councilman Edward Simpson said the film, titled "Coatesville: Our Time is Now," is offensive and "a very racist presentation." In it, developers talk about their plans to revitalize parts of the town and bring jobs to local residents.

But Bill Washington, a member of the Coatesville NAACP's executive board, turned the tables on Simpson and said maybe he's the one with the problem.

"Anyone who looks at that movie and their first impression is that it is racist has racism in his heart, and it is coming out," Washington said. "I think he got upset that there were so many black faces on the video."

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

Mailbag:

Steve R. writes:

Chicken wings are a black thing? I think not. Having grown up in the South I was blessed with a steady diet of what some refer to as "soul food." Today my Yankee wife feeds me a much more healthy diet. Still, if someone placed a partially eaten chicken wing on my plate I would be much more upset that they had beaten me to a juicy bite. Of course, I am not looking for someone with deep pockets to sue, nor am I looking for some way to excuse bad behavior.

Jerry C. writes:

In "Silencing the Fans," you called taunting an opposing player while he/she shot free throws a "time-honored tradition." I'm here to tell you that it is NOT a tradition and should not be honored at any time.

For the first 50 years of basketball, the gym, field house or arena grew hushed when free throws were shot. The advent of glass backboards began to offer the opportunity to create a visual distraction. When that seemed to be acceptable and with a healthy dose of coarsening in society in general, that distraction has grown into the disgusting and most unsportsmanlike like display we see today.

When I went to high school, you'd get thrown out of the gym for trying to distract a foul shooter. Whether or not it's racist, it needs to be discouraged and writing a letter of apology is little enough punishment.

Steve C. writes:

Although I agree most of the charges of racism you normally report are nutty, when fans of an all-white team taunt a black player on a predominantly black team as being unable to read or in school only to play basketball, I think racism is involved.

Nick P. writes:

I don't understand how we can continue to bend under pressure about our beliefs in this country. Every time something offends one person, we must make everyone else change just to make that one person happy.

How is calling the Easter Bunny the Easter Bunny offensive? That's what he is. I am not crazy about the idea of using secular icons on religious holidays in the first place -- they take the focus off of the real reason for the holiday -- but give me a break. What's next? Changing Christmas to just 'mas? Enough is enough in this country; everyone should stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and worry about how to make themselves better and not everyone else worse.

Pam M. writes:

I can't believe I'm reading this! Since when do breast-feeding activists have the right to dictate what a new mother can feed her child? Never have I heard such baloney.

As a "new mother" just three months ago, I was extremely grateful for the diaper bag and free samples [of formula]. Due to PKD, I was on a bunch of different meds that made breast feeding essentially impossible for me. I was glad for the formulas I received.

I found that by not only saving me some much-needed money, my baby could not tolerate the milk-based formulas I received but was able to take the soy-based ones. That saved us many sleepless nights and upset tummies.

I'm tired of the activists trying to shame women into breast feeding and making them feel that they are somehow hurting their babies by giving them formula. Trust me, if I could have breast fed, I would have, but since I couldn't, I appreciated the "freebies" I received.

Charles P. in Capetown writes:

On the subject of "political correctness" (which sounds awfully silly to me), my great-grandfather was born in South Africa and my great-grandmother was born in the former Rhodesia. My grandparents, parents, myself and my three brothers were all born in South Africa. When I finish my university, I will hopefully become an American citizen. My question is this: My skin is an off-white, tan color, so will I become an "African-American?"

I believe I am classified as a Caucasian in your country but as a South African citizen (we don't use the entire continent to distinguish ourselves) when I become an American, I shall truly be an "African-American" or "American-African."

Not to be outdone but, my friend at the university is from Chicago, Illinois, and is black. If he chooses to become a citizen of South Africa, will he be an African-American-South African? Should I refer to my dog as a "canine-South African?" I'm just having some fun; please don't think me intolerant (my fiance is a gorgeous African-South African).

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