A Massacre by Any Other Name...

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Mexican-Americans in Texas want to use a word other than “massacre” to describe an incident in which Mexican forces shot hundreds of Texans, burned their bodies and left the remains to vultures because it is insensitive to their ancestors, reports the New York Times.

The activists from Goliad, Texas, where more than 300 Texas rebels were killed by Mexican troops in 1836 in what has been known as the Goliad Massacre (search), would prefer the word “execution” because the soldiers were merely carrying out orders. Benny Martinez, president of Goliad's chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (search), said Anglos in town continue to use the word because they "still hate Mexicans and using 'massacre' is a subtle way for them to express it."

Adventures in Racial Profiling

A new San Francisco ordinance regulating fortune-tellers is being derided in the Romany (search) community as unfair and unjust “ethnic profiling,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to start requiring fortune-tellers to post a rate schedule and offer customers a receipt for their services. Supporters hailed the measure as one of consumer protection. But a dissenter, Supervisor Tony Hall, called the ordinance a clear case of ethnic profiling. Fortune-telling is not just a job to the city’s Romany Gypsies, he said -- it’s part of their culture. And those who submit to the measure’s identification requirements "will be castigated, thrown out of the clan," he said.

Well Then ... That's OK

A play being performed on the campus of Alabama State University features black actors in so-called whiteface makeup, but it's OK because the play is about racism so no one should be offended, reports WSFA-TV.

The play, A Day of Absence, is about a community where all the minorities disappear. The African-American actors in the play will don whiteface makeup to blend in with the white characters. But no one should be offended by the play, say theater boosters. Really.

"My understanding of this play is that it's essentially an anti-racist play; or some kind of play about diversity,” says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (search). “So there's no intent even on the part of the individual playwright or the actors to revile white people."

In 2001, two fraternities from nearby Auburn University kicked up a storm when pictures surfaced from a Halloween party showing students in blackface and Afro wigs.


Three plaques with biblical scriptures on them posted at lookouts over the Grand Canyon (search) have been removed following letters of concern and complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union (search), reports the Associated Press.

The ACLU said the plaques -- quoting Psalms 68:4, 66:4 and 104:24 (search) -- posted in prominent spots of a national park were an illegal endorsement of religion by the government.

Members of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, (search) which placed the plaques there in the 1960s, said they were stunned. The plaques, they said, were intended to inspire “awe-struck beholders to admire and acknowledge the creator of this majestic landscape spread before their eyes."

The good news is that other complaints, about a trail named Bright Angel (search) and some formations named after Hindu gods (search), were deemed insufficiently offensive to warrant changing.

Inevitably ...

Government officials in Canada are so scared of being labeled intolerant or racist that they are leery of kicking terrorists and front groups for those terrorists out of the country, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

A new report by the Mackenzie Institute (search), a Toronto think tank that monitors political violence and terrorism, says everyone from Tamil Tigers (search) to Al-Qaeda (search) has set up shop in Canada and officials are loathe to do anything about it.

"We have allowed the agents of the violence experienced in other nations to come here, mercilessly dominate their fellows from their home societies, and preach an Orwellian message that we must tolerate their intolerance, and that it is racist and condescending to question their motives and actions," the report states. "Worse still, some of our political leaders have accepted this message."

As an example, the institute cited the case when a then-finance minister was criticized three years ago for attending a fundraising dinner for the Tigers. When opposition politicians complained about his attendance, they were denounced as racists.

Extreme Measures?

The student newspaper at the University of Alabama, the Crimson White, reports that rather than face the prospect of students hanging Confederate flags in dorm windows the school may ban displays of all kinds from the windows.

Officials swear the ban is not aimed at removing flags but instead is intended to make people feel more at home on campus. Last month, representatives of the Office of Residential Life asked a professor-in-residence at one of the dorms to remove a Confederate flag hanging in his window. A male student who had moved into the residence hall for the summer said it made him uncomfortable. The professor refused, though, and Res Life backed down but began the long march toward the new policy.

Can't wait until next Monday for more snippets of politically correct nonsense? Head over to the daily edition of Tongue Tied at the Tongue Tied Web site.

Mail Bag:

John D. in San Diego, Calif., writes:

I support Dusty Baker's stance that his remarks are based on his perspective. It has gotten to the most absolute ridiculous stage when people are being ridiculed for any comments about race, sex, ethnicity, creed, color, weight, speech pattern and hair length.

However, I do think Dusty Baker should step down and resign as manager. This would be reparation for all the others who have had to resign for similar innocuous statements. Since society will not cease condemnation, penalties must be consistent to people of all race, sex, ethnicity, creed, color, weight, speech pattern and hair length.

John B. writes:

The idea that somebody thinks the American flag stands for "dominance, greed, corporate power and not freedom" shows that the person in question has a lack of understanding about the flag and what it truly represents.

Granted, it may just be my opinion, but the traits she describes are better represented by a certain building on Pennsylvania Avenue. The flag itself, to patriots such as myself, stands as a symbol of freedom and opportunity. Its red is symbolic of the blood shed here and abroad for the ideals of freedom. It was there when we helped free millions of people from slavery, corruption and economic disaster. It was draped over hundreds of thousands of our fallen heroes at their funerals, and is planted on their graves.

The American flag doesn't stand for corruption, because it was not created out of corruption. Corrupt and greedy people may hide behind it, but the flag is not their representative or symbol. It is ours. The people who lose sight of that are the same people that cry foul, yet enjoy the freedom that flag has granted them. People are corrupt and greedy, and immoral. The American flag is not. If they don't like America, then maybe they should leave. Then they will truly see how much the flag stands for.

Shawna M. of Glendale, Calif., writes:

If Ms. Bungay is offended by our flag and believes that it only represents greed, etc. ... she needs to remember that there are no chains holding her here and she should move somewhere where they don't have our freedoms to see how it would feel to truly be a "citizen of the world."

Jim M. in Lynchburg, Va., writes:

In what way is not flying the flag politically correct or incorrect? It's neither, but the state law saying the flag must be flown is probably, according to recent Supreme Court rulings, unconstitutional.

The American flag stands for many things and not all of them are good. In the present national media atmosphere it is much more politically correct flying it than not flying it.

Grow up pal, or maybe just shut up.

Wes H. in Mount Joy, Pa., writes:

If I were a jury member in the case where the defendant alleges that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is grounds for a mistrial, I would tell him that every day we pledge our allegiance to the U.S. government simply by living here, paying taxes and not renouncing our citizenship.

Now, if the defendant thinks he'll receive a more fair trial in another country, I can think of many Middle Eastern and African nations that would warmly welcome someone who possesses a machine gun.

Joe B. of Olathe, Kan., writes:

Just when I thought the various chapters of the California Coalition of the Professionally Offended could not surprise me, a group in Marin County decides inclusion of the word "Dixie" in a school district's name is offensive.

At this time when schools and communities across the country are struggling with budget shortfalls, do these doofii (that is the plural of doofus, is it not?) have nothing better on which to focus their energy and time?

By the way, my wife's name is Dixie, and I find it offensive that her name is described as "harken[ing] to a dark period of the nation's history."