Officials in Liverpool are under pressure to change the name of one its most famous streets, Penny Lane, because of the moniker's association with the slave trade, reports the Guardian.
The street, immortalized by the eponymous Beatles hit, is named after the wealthy slave trader James Penny. It is one of seven streets that some folks want renamed in honor of people who fought against slavery rather than profiting from it.
The Merseyside Campaign Against Racist Terrorism is one of the groups pushing for names that celebrate successful black people. They have the ear of Liverpool councilor Barbara Mace, who said the aim was to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain next year.
Europe's Marketplace of Ideas
The Brussels Journal reports that academics in the Netherlands have agreed that potentially inflammatory opinions should be suppressed on campuses in the interest of maintaining social order. A large majority of chancellors of Dutch universities have voted to limit academic freedom at universities.
The vote was called in response to charges from an Utrecht University professor that a valedictory speech he wanted to give about anti-semitism in the Islamic world was supressed by his superiors at the school because it "incited different population groups against each other."
In a speech titled "The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism," Pieter W. van der Horst, the retiring professor of Early Christian History and Judaism at Utrecht, wanted to say that the Islamisation of European anti-semitism is one of the most frightening developments of the past decades and that never in history have there been more anti-Semites than today.
Van der Horst says the university's chancellor, the rector magnificus, Prof. Willem H. Gispen, censored the speech, calling the opinions unscientific. In a multicultural society, he said, one should avoid antagonizing certain groups.
Leaders in Provincetown are facing what is being described as a wave of intolerance in the famously tolerant town, according to the Boston Globe, with heterosexual couples facing slurs in the streets, Jamaican workers being racially abused and anti-gay marriage supporters being verbally assaulted.
Police there say they have received numerous complaints from straight people slurred as "breeders" and at least one case of a woman being verbally abused after she was outed as one of 43 people in town who signed a petition opposing same-sex marriage. Others who signed the petition report having manure spread over their property.
The incidents do not, however, rise to the level of hate crimes, according to police.
The Manchester Union Leader says Delaware Sen. Joe Biden is under fire from Indian groups for telling a young man in New Hampshire, "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."
The comment was caught on tape by CSPAN while Biden, a Democrat running for president in 2008, was meeting with a young Indian activist by the name of Manish Antani. "I've had a great relationship (with Indian-Americans)," he said. "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
An official of the Indian-American Republican Council called the comment "way over the top," and a conservative Web site said Biden had shown "contempt" for Indian-Americans.
But Antani said the brouhaha was overblown, and that Biden got a bad rap. "You can tell if someone's going to make a derogatory comment and he wasn't," Antani said.
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Randy S. in Oklahoma writes:
A hearty huzzah for Sir Winterton for speaking out over something that has been fairly obvious for years. Multiculturalism is the biggest divider in today's many omnibus societies. It's one thing to be proud of ones heritage but multiculturalism, in my opinion, amounts to nothing more than politically correct segregation. The very thing people in America marched, sat-in, and even died for to put an end to.
People should not be expected to give up their culture when immigrating to another country -- they should be expected to assimilate some of the predominant values and culture in their new homeland. It's absurd to expect the native peoples, governments and other assorted institutions to make allowances for every minority person that has a gripe, just because they don't want to learn the language or some pre-existing law doesn't fit in with the way they want to or are used to living their lives. They are the ones that made the move, if they don't like their new homes they are free to return to their old ones.
Jason W. writes:
Please inspect the Sony ad again. How in the world can you choke someone by clutching their jaw? Note that the white model is in no way grasping the black woman's throat as you erroneously claim. Also, do you believe that all dark colored women are from Africa? Please strive for accuracy in the future.
Jonathan C. writes:
I would like to note to you that the ad in question was only produced and displayed in Holland, which does not hold the same shame and offense over such images. Tem Leland Yee has no business commenting on something of this nature as the ad was never released in his community, and is simply attempting to either gather attention for himself, or further the "witch-hunt" against the gaming industry.
Sony doesn't give two bits about black or white, racial or prejudice, it's a corporation; they are attempting to make a buck off of their products and using an advertising campaign to do so. The only racial charging here are the activists who can't stop displaying their own prejudice by going out of their way to attack anything that they can use to fuel their own fires. They are best left ignored as the children they are.
James T. wonders:
So, Albany cannot let a private roller rink have a "Christian" skate time, but Great Adventure in New Jersey is allowed to have a Muslim only day?
Michael G. writes:
Regarding your articles on "Christian Skate Time" and "4-H Inclusion Alert" I have to wonder where are all the civil liberties groups on these issues?
The issue at hand with the valedictorian is not a free speech issue. She deviated from her approved speech and attempted to preach about the values of being a Latter Day Saint and so was properly stopped. She was not "attempting to thank her Lord and Savior" as she claimed as comments doing so were in her pre-approved speech from which she chose to deviate.
Dan A. writes:
Thank you ACLU and the gutless wonders at the Clark Co. School for attacking Britany McComb's religious rights. Without them her message would not have reached the whole nation and been talked by countless talk shows and made the national news.