Knight-Ridder reports that a thoroughbred horse owner in Kentucky who wanted to name his new filly after the slave with whom Thomas Jefferson (search) allegedly had an affair was told he couldn't because it may be offensive to people of African descent.

The horse's owner, history buff Garrett Redmond (search), has sued the Jockey Club, which regulates the naming of all thoroughbred racehorses and refused to allow the name.

After a bit of hemming and hawing about the real reason, the chairman of the Jockey Club told Redmond that the name "is a clear reference to the slave woman alleged to have had children with Thomas Jefferson. Naming a thoroughbred horse 'Sally Hemings' may be offensive to persons of African descent and other ethnic groups, may be offensive to descendants of the specific people involved, may have negative historical implications, may have negative moral implications and may be degrading to ethnic groups and descendants of the people involved."

Whither TJ

Parents, students and teachers at Jefferson Elementary School in the San Francisco Bay area have voted to rename the school because the founding father for whom the school was named owned slaves, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Folks voted to name the Berkeley school Sequoia Elementary because a few teachers had complained that they were offended by the old moniker. The Berkeley Unified School District board must approve the change before it becomes official.

Rainbow Ruckus

Gay activists in London are decrying as "incompetent bigotry" a local council's plan to treat gay-owned businesses the same as all other businesses and forbid them from flying the rainbow-colored pride flag, according to the Wood and Vale Press.

David Boothroyd, a member of the Westminster Council, said the decision by the local planning committee to begin enforcing rules already on the books was "wrong in planning law, bigoted in practice and gives Westminster Council an appalling reputation for insulting the gay community."

He and others said that the gay bars ought to be exempt from the borough-wide ban on flags because they are cultural institutions and not businesses.

But Tony Dawson, the manager of one of Britain's oldest gay bars, failed to understand how being treated just like everyone else amounts to discrimination. "If we want to be accepted by everyone else then we should be treated the same as everyone else," he said.

Dissing Dubya

Posters showing George W. Bush with Groucho-like eyebrows, glasses, moustache and a cigar painted over his face used to advertise a high school play in Los Angeles were ripped from the walls and thrown away following complaints from one student that they made Dubya look bad, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

Students at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, Calif., created the image to advertise a showing of "The Complete History of America (Abridged)," the original of which features a similarly altered image of George Washington.

All was fine until one senior, a supporter of the president, complained to the administration about the way Bush was portrayed, saying he was made to look "like an Israeli." School officials quickly caved and ordered them destroyed, saying the poster promoted smoking on top of everything else.

The Fun Never Ends in Oregon

The University of Oregon will soon start basing the salaries and promotions of faculty members on their "cultural competency," or how well they play with people "from different backgrounds," reports The Associated Press.

The five-year diversity plan was unveiled to a chorus of boos from faculty members, who wondered where the money was going to come from to hire 40 new faculty members to teach courses in a "cluster" of diversity-related topics, including race, gender, gay and disability studies.

The AP notes that the "diversity dustup" is the latest in a series of racial incidents to roil Oregon's flagship public campus in recent weeks. One white student has filed a formal complaint over a program that makes white students signing up for some math and English classes go to the back of the line, and a number of minority students have alleged that there is widespread racial discrimination going on in the Department of Education.

As an example of that racism, a graduate student told how one professor decided to show the film "Dances With Wolves" to his class, even though some American Indians consider it racist. When she complained, the professor allowed the class to take a vote on the matter, which "created real division in the class," the student said. It made for a hostile atmosphere, she said.

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

Mailbox:

Curt from Atlanta writes:

Why is it socially acceptable to have a National Association of Black Social Workers, especially one that excludes others on the basis of their skin color? Imagine the outrage if there were a National Association of White Social Workers.

Rick J. in Prague writes:

If someone was barred from a public meeting on account of race then that is a violation of federal law. It is really incumbent on the individual who suffered the abuse to report this to the DOJ division for civil rights.

Matt L. writes:

The problem with America today is that religious freedom applies to all religions but Christianity. I can talk about Judaism and Islam in school, or any other religion, but I mention the bible or the Ten Commandants and suddenly I'm being hauled of to P.C. brainwashing.

What happened to my inherent right to read the bible or to talk about my beliefs? Talking about religion in school or a courtroom is not establishing a national religion, which is what the establishment clause is all about. Someone seeing me pray isn't suddenly going to believe every word I say. People talk about diversity, well what about my right to be a Christian?

Matt P. in Columbus writes:

I'm getting sick of people demanding Intelligent Design or Creationism get as much attention as Evolution in public schools. According to the scientific method, an integral part of science, an idea starts out as a hypothesis. After a large enough body of verifiable physical evidence supporting the idea convinces a majority of the scientific community of its plausibility, the hypothesis becomes theory.

Evolution is a theory because it is supported by the fossil record, biological diversity on the planet, and even a few documented cases of evolutionary processes occurring. Intelligent Design is merely a hypothesis because its only supporting evidence are a few suspect religious texts.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a Christian and believe God created everything. But, in the realm of the science classroom, Intelligent Design doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Jay writes:

This is the most trivial and ignorant section on a "news" website that I have ever seen. The writer should be ashamed of himself.

John G. writes:

My observation over the last decade about political correctness is simple: The more a group or people are protected, the more likely they are to be rude, imposing, demanding, and discourteous to other people around them. Instead of being polite and thankful, which would make PC more acceptable to the majority, they use it as a weapon, and attack others who do not only protect them but accept and advocate whatever heritage, lifestyle, choices, or whatever the qualifier. Many of you have to grow up and stop blaming others for your failures while
attacking those who are successful.

Bernard T. writes:

I am disgusted by the whole idea of this column. Every story panders toward a certain demographic (let me guess, ummm..... white, Christian, red-state resident?) Since when does a news organization make it it's duty to divide a people along lines of race, religion, and science? I am against intolerance in any form, but do you really think this column is designed to help anyone?

Mary R. clarifies:

Nimrod was not a god. He was a great hunter, true, but he is a real man who is mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. In fact, on one online etymology site, it says Nimrod started to be used as a derogatory term by 70s and 80s teens. Bugs Bunny used to call Elmer Fudd a "poor little Nimrod" because he was a hunter. So we can probably thank Warner Bros. for teaching it as a putdown.

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