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Crazy Courses, Santa Saved

The good folks at the Young America's Foundation have singled out several American universities for offering coursework that it says supplants traditional scholarship with left-wing ideology and politically correct activism.

Among the courses singled out as being part of the "Dirty Dozen" are Occidental College's The Phallus, which explores phallologocentrism, lesbian phalluses and Latino phalluses, as is a course at the school titled Blackness, which elaborates on a "new blackness," "critical blackness," "post-blackness," and an "unforgivable blackness," which all combine to create a "feminist New Black Man."

Also noted by the YAF is Queer Musicology at the University of California-Los Angeles, which looks at how "sexual difference and complex gender identities in music and among musicians have incited productive consternation" during the 1990s; Native American Feminisms at the University of Michigan; and Swarthmore College's "Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism."

Garnering dishonorable mentions are UC-Berkeley's Sex Change City: Theorizing History in Genderqueer San Francisco; Drag: Theories of Transgenderism and Performance at Hollins University; and Swarthmore College's Renaissance Sexualities, which explores homoerotica, chastity, friendship, marriage, adultery and incest.

Says YAF spokesman Jason Mattera, "The Dirty Dozen demonstrates that professors still have an obsession with dividing people on the basis of their skin color, sexuality and gender. They also can't seem to shake off a strong admiration for Karl Marx and his murderous ideology—apparently the 100-plus million totalitarian regimes have murdered over the years is not enough?!"

Santa's Helpers

A school bus driver in New York was asked to remove his Santa hat while on the job after a child complained that he doesn't believe in Santa and found the hat disturbing, according to a report in Newsday.

Kenneth Mott, who sports a long white beard and a generous midriff, has been wearing the hat every December since he started working for the Baumann and Sons bus company, which transports students in the Commack School District, five years ago.

This year, however, the parent of one of the children from Rolling Hills Primary School or Commack Middle School complained to the district about his hat, and his supervisors asked him to remove it.

Mott refused to remove the hat, and the district eventually relented.

No Chimp Zone

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that a white fire department lieutenant in Fort Lauderdale has been suspended for sending a homemade ad to a colleague that mocked the city's former chief, who is black, by depicting him as a chimpanzee.

Lt. Dave Carter admitted sending the clip, which showed a chimp sitting at a table in a dress shirt and tie and suspenders with the words, "I've got an idea. You do my half of the project, and I'll go take a nap" above him, but said there was "not one iota of racial intent."

He says he only meant to portray the former chief as a poor administrator.

Following an investigation by the city, Carter has been suspended for two months without pay and must complete two diversity and sensitivity re-education courses.

Black firefighters in Fort Lauderdale want a harsher punishment, however. They say monkeys or apes have historically been used to denigrate black people and the incident is part of a pattern of racist behavior at city hall.

Party-Poopers

Feminists in Australia are in a lather over a nightclub's promise to give free drinks to women who show up in bathing suits for a "Christmas Bikini Party," according toThe Age in Melbourne.

Helen Makregiorgos, manager of the Centre Against Sexual Assault, said the promotion by CBD Amber Lounge is demeaning to women and will create an environment that could promote sexual assault.

"We're concerned about the whole event ... one, it doesn't encourage responsible alcohol consumption," Makregiorgos said. "Two, it objectifies women. That is the message it sends ... women are still seen as sexual objects being used to promote a venue."

N.B.: This will be the last installment of Toungue Tied. When we first started this exercise seven years ago, we were one of only a handful of voices screeching about the tyranny of political correctness and the lunacy that passes for scholarship at American universities. Now, with the proliferation of blogs and other micro-publishing venues, our exercise is not such a lonely one and the time has come to pass the mantle. Thanks and allbest -- the authors.

Mailbag:

Chad R. writes:

I'm so tired of the GLB community using the word homophobia incorrectly. It's not a fear that people have of gays, it's a disagreement with their choice of lifestyle. If I don't agree with stealing, does that make me thief-o-phobic? If I speak out against thieves, does that make it a hate crime? It's just an example of how the GLB community misrepresents the true nature of the issues.

Tim B. in the UK writes:

Objection to a person on the grounds of their sexuality is the same as objection on the grounds of religion or race or gender. It is bigotry, and it is a crime. To discribe what is, by definition, a phobia, as merely an opinion, gives bigots a legitimate platform for their hatred, as we have just seen in Iran with the Holocast Conference.

Robin S. in Colorado writes:

Our country's democracy is based on rule by majority. Christians are the majority. Why are we letting the minorities dictate to the majority? This would not happen in an Islamic country. Our holidays are our heritage and tradition. They should not be changed for anyone. The Constitution does not separate church and state; see amendment one. Those who do not like the way we do things are free to leave the country. This is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

Dave writes:

When will people get over themselves in regards to The Adventures to Huckleberry Finn? If they would get past their hyper-sensitivities over the use of a word and actually read the story, they would find that Huck is an absolute idiot who couldn't get by without Jim. Come on folks, what ever happened to "Sticks & Stones"?

Mike L. in Pittsburgh writes:

I find it amazing that a book, intended to point out racism in society at the time, is banned because it's considered racist. If our children aren't allowed to see how badly people were treated in the past, how are they expected to learn from it? [The Adventures to Huckleberry Finn} and other [books], should not be banned, but discussed to point out the wrongs society practiced in the past, how it has changed since then, and what steps are remaining.

Bob B.

Have I been reading the wrong Constitution? I cannot find any place where it even addresses religion. The Bill of Rights does guarantee everyone "Freedom of Religion" no matter where or when [they wish to worship], public or private, government employee or not, and even if someone else is offended by it. If someone wants freedom from religion, then they need to move somewhere else, but be aware that you will also lose all the freedoms you take for granted now.

Jeff M. in Texas writes:

History teaches us that when a nation turns away from it's original values, laws, and cultural morals, that nation is already headed for internal and external destruction. I give us another 25 years max.

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