Some European-American students attempting to register for smaller calculus and English classes at the University of Oregon are being told there is no room for them because slots in the courses have been set aside for non-white students, according to the Oregon Daily Emerald.

Senior Stephanie Ramey tells the paper that she tried to register for a sophomore level math course but was told she couldn't because the Office of Multicultural Academic Support had set aside the first 10 slots in the 18-student class for minority students.

"I guess I was just really surprised and irritated because I thought I had a right to get into the class too. ... I guess I felt a little bit discriminated against," Ramey said. "For a sophomore math class, I shouldn't have to wait just because I'm white."

School officials say the coveted classes are meant to offer a safe haven for minority students and give struggling students a chance to work more closely with professors, but civil rights activists say such quota systems are illegal.

"I can say it 10 different ways, but it's illegal, and the Department of Education will shut this down if it's brought to their attention," said Edward Blum of the Virginia-based Center for Equal Opportunity.

Monkey Business

A man of West Indian origin who says he felt "extremely isolated" from his fellow workers at a suburban London city hall is suing the council alleging racial harassment, according to the Press Association.

The 46-year-old man said he was discriminated against in his office, which employed mainly women. He said they were not directly antagonistic toward him, but no interest was taken in him as a person and the isolation made him feel so bad that he had to take two months sick leave because of the stress.

"My colleagues, who were all women, would often be involved in discussions about women's topics, such as the right tights to wear. I felt excluded as I could not really join in with those conversations," he told an employment tribunal.

The final straw that provoked the lawsuit, he says, was when he returned to work from stress leave and was seated at a desk near a poster of a monkey in a suit and a tie.

"I said that I found placing a poster of a monkey in a business suit and tie next to my work station deeply offensive and I pointed out that the poster was discriminatory and racially offensive," he said.

Anything Else?

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution banning comments that are deemed insensitive to people based on their race, religion, color, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, weight, height or place of birth, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Board President Aaron Peskin says the move is not, however, an attack on free speech. San Francisco has always been a champion of that, he says. "We must make every possible effort to maintain basic decorum and integrity in our public forum," he says. "Failure to do so has the same chilling effect as stifling free speech."

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier wants to go even further. She wants some kind of training for city commissioners so that they can identify inappropriate public comment and put a stop to it.

"This resolution is a good first step, but it can't be a last one," she said.

Quicker Learners

Haitian immigrants in New York City say their children have been traumatized by an assistant principal's culturally demeaning actions and they want $12 million to help them get over the horror, according to WCBS-TV.

They have already managed to get an assistant principal suspended (and probably fired) for calling a group of unruly kids animals and forcing them to eat lunch on the floor of the school cafeteria instead of at tables. The parents say the kids are still reeling from the administrator's actions.

"When one demeans the self-esteem of young children, they are entitled to damages. It's the same as if they were physically injured," says Sanford Rubenstein, a lawyer for the families.

The parents say it's not about the money. It's about respect.

Dueling Celebrations

Student Democrats at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi are accusing College Republicans there of discrimination for handing out flyers on campus celebrating heterosexuality on the gay-themed National Day of Silence, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Islander Democrats at the university say the fliers titled "Flaming Heterosexual?" were intended to recruit non-gay members to the group in violation of campus rules against excluding people because of their sexual orientation.

The Republican group says it was not signing up members, but merely asking people to sign a petition celebrating heterosexuality on the same day that other campus organizations were allowed to celebrate alternative lifestyles.

Hate Beer

A California man is suing a microbrewery for featuring an image of the elephant-like Hindu god Ganesh holding a couple of beer bottles on the label of its brew, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Brij Dhir, a Golden Gate University law student and attorney licensed in India, calls the use of the Hindu deity for such purposes a "hate crime" and wants $1 billion in punitive damages on behalf of Hindus around the world.

The owners of Lost Coast Brewery say no offense was intended and are reconsidering the label of their Indica India Pale Ale.

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

Mailbag:

Maxwell S. in Malaysia writes:

Being PC is such a part of American life, and that of the ridiculous ACLU, that as an international citizen, it sometimes tickles me to see all the so-called victim groups at each other's throats. True, unity comes from being part of a bigger something. I respect the United States for its ideals, way of life and government, but the average American sometimes gives false impressions on that to the other people living on this great planet.

Jordan S. writes:

I can't believe a graduate student was expelled for the content of an essay he wrote. So what if his view conflicted with those in charge of the college. I did not think colleges were supposed to turn out mindless idiots who simply regurgitate the beliefs of those in charge. Evidently, freedom of thought and varying ideals are no longer encouraged in some of our institutions of higher learning!

Rich D. writes:

In the recent item entitled "G-Word", and in the context of Bible quotes, you quoted an email containing the statement "Remember, pride always comes before the fall." The coach makes a common conflation error: Proverbs 16:18 states "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty
spirit before stumbling (NASB)."

Aaron H. writes:

I am writing in response to the article entitled 'Negative Thoughts' about a Virginia parent claiming that the Sons of Confederate Veterans is a racist organization and uses historical artifacts to intimidate minorities.

Ms. Stevenson, the parent who is upset over her child's elementary school allowing students to attend historical reenactments, holds incredibly ill-informed and bigoted views about the SCV, an
organization of which I am a member. The goal of the SCV is only to preserve civil war history. It is a multi-racial organization, with members such as H. K. Edgerton of North Carolina (who appeared briefly on the Fox Report) and Bob Harrison of Texas (who has appeared on CBS
Nightly News), both of whom are of African descent, and proudly fly Confederate Battle Flags and dress in Confederate Uniforms. Are these men doing this to "intimidate minorities," as Ms. Stevenson claims?

Perhaps if Ms. Stevenson would take some time to learn about history, she would not make such ignorant accusations. Sadly, it appears as though Ms. Stevenson wishes not only to remain ignorant herself, but to deny her child the opportunity to learn about history as well.

Randy B. in Chicago writes:

In your May 9 story about the Florida football coach who was reprimanded for sending a Christian-oriented e-mail to players, you used the head: "The G-Word." Why do that? That term wasn't used in the actual story, there were no quotes to that effect. Watch how you use language. Even if you meant to be ironic, the phrase you used eminates from the phrase "the f-word" and why create an opportunity for that comparison in reader's minds? Lib or conservative, ALL journalists have the power to influence how people think and communicate. It's a war, with
consequences, as we have found out, so please take better responsibility.

Nick G. says:

I celebrated International Respect for Chickens Day by eating fried chicken. Yum


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