The Power of Language, Hurtful History

A school in Colleyville, Texas that wanted to use a picture of a new Liberty nickel on the cover of its 2005 yearbook removed the words "In God We Trust" from the image in order to avoid offending non-believers, according to WFAA-TV.

The Liberty Elementary School annuals were sent home with stickers featuring the phrase and directions on how and where to attach the label to the cover.

The intention, according to a school spokesman, was to "make sure all faiths were respected."

United Statesians?

A social studies consultant in Michigan has recommended that standardized tests and school curricula in that state stop referring to the United States as "America" because the term is enthnocentric when used only in reference to U.S. residents, according to an op-ed in the Detroit News.

The consultant says the term "Americans" incorporates Mexicans, Canadians and all others in the western hemisphere. Educational material therefore should refer to residents of the United States, Canada and Mexico as "North Americans."

"It is ethnocentric for the United States to claim the entire hemisphere," according to one of the proposal's authors.

The Michigan Department of Education says the recommendations were by an outside advisory panel and will not be adopted.

Racist Cameras

Computerized cameras that target motorists in the UK if their license plates ring alarm bells on police databases are accused of being racist because nearly half the people arrested following the flags are black, according to the Times of London.

A report by the Metropolitan police says blacks account for 46 percent of all arrests generated by the new automatic numberplate recognition cameras. In the first eight months of their usage, the cameras generated 2,023 arrests. Thirty-six percent of those were white; 9 percent were Asian.

The technology automatically scans license plates and filters the number through police databases. Suspicious vehicles are then flagged and chased down by police. Police are using the cameras in high-crime areas that are disproportionately black, and the Metropolitan Police has launched an inquiry into why so many of those arrested are minorities.

Tribe Warfare

The NCAA has told William and Mary College in Virginia that it will not be able to use its nickname, "The Tribe," in any post-season championship competitions or host any association events because the term is hostile to American Indians, according to the AP.

In an appeal to the NCAA, the school argued that the nickname "is designed to communicate ennobling sentiments of commitment, shared idealism, community and common cause."

It also noted the school's mission to educate indigenous people, and the fact that tribal leaders in its region had no problem with the nickname.

But the NCAA said the fact that W&M uses two feathers in its logo "transforms that use from one associated with 'togetherness,' 'shared idealism,' and 'commitment' to stereotypical reference to Native Americans."

Reining in ROTC

The San Francisco Board of Education is poised to boot the Junior ROTC program out of that city's public schools to protest the military's "unjust, indefensible, unintelligent, state-sanctioned act of homophobia," reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Petagon's refusal to allow openly gay service men and women via a Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy is the target of a school board resolution that would attempt to phase out the program by the 2007-2008 school year. Currently, some 1,625 students in seven San Fran public high schools are enrolled in the program.

"A discriminatory institution like the U.S. military really should not be running programs in our school district," said one of the board members.

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


Tim N. writes:

I read with interest about the Bible ban in Australia. Our hospital in Alpena has taken the Gideon Bibles out of the rooms too, but not because of any offense given. Rather, they say it is because Bibles in the drawers have the potential of being unsanitary. However, the Bibles are available from the nurses at request.

To read last week's Tongue Tied, click here or on the link to the column in the archive box above.

Melvin B. writes:

Those who look upon Mao as a Jesus should remember that in the art of extermination, Mao made Hitler and Stalin look like amateurs. Between the two of them, they may have killed 50 million people who did not agree with them. If they do not care for the rest of the world's attitude for Mao, they need to return the country that looks upon Mao with reverence. Understanding, if this was the late 40’s or early 50’s, they would have been executed upon arriviing for having been exposed to an improper environment.

Tim M. in Tempe, Ariz. writes:

I wonder how many of those dainty ears, offended at the dreaded "N word", have no problem with it when it is uttered by some gutter-minded rapper. I would guess the outrage is very selective.

Bob S. in Knoxville writes:

In response to your May 21 Tongue Tied, I came to the realization that we will soon have no history. Teaching history will become a thing of the past. Why? Because it is all politically incorrect, it offends someone, and it will be redacted to the point that there will be nothing left to teach.

Manny A. in Portland writes:

It would seem that certain words used regularly by certain minorities are only offensive when a white person uses them, even in a research capacity. So much for freedom of speech. People objecting so loudly about such issues should try to be as tolerant as what they demand from others, but most of all they should remember that they too will lose that freedom once it's condemned.

I think today's public policies of reverse discrimination will hurt race relations more then anything else. I even know a few so called progressives who years ago fancied themselves tolerance champions who are now even more anti-minority then most.

Two wrongs don't make a right, and the common practice today of discriminating only against whites when they voice an opinion that any minority doesn't like, then turning right around and welcoming the minority for same is only driving whites to unite against what they perceive to be a common foe.

Racism is as racism does, and the only way people will stop to respect it's overall effect is when and if it be evenly applied.

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