Banned Blackface, Gender Bending

Officials in Louisiana are rethinking the scheduled appearance of a comedian because he's not African American, as they assumed, but actually a white dude who appears in black make-up, reports the Lafayette Advertiser.

Organizers scheduled the show by Willie Richardson in Lafayette with the understanding that he was black. Now that they know otherwise, they are rethinking the gig.

Officials with the local NAACP (search) have asked that he not be allowed to perform.

Ja'Nelle Chargois, who is general manager of a local radio station in addition to being NAACP president, said even she was surprised; she has played Richardson's material on air.

"I've listened to many of Willie Richardson's tapes and they're not racially biased in any manner or against any group. But, if he's someone who is painted in black face, then yeah, I think that's offensive," she said.

The promoter of the show, David Stallings, wondered why it's offensive when white comedians portray people of other races but not offensive when it's the other way around.

"Eddie Murphy has painted himself every color known to man and portrayed himself as Hispanic, Jewish, made fun of everybody and every race," Stallings said.

Never Mind

A California lawmaker who was going to raise a stink about a repugnant remark by state Education Secretary Richard Riordan changed his mind when he found out the victim of the crack was not African American, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, a Democrat from Los Angeles, had planned a news conference to demand Riordan's head but cancelled it when he learned that the girl subjected to Riordan's joke was white.

Since race was not a factor, Dymally said in a statement, "It is time for us to move on."

Riordan, who apparently was never 6 years old, told the girl, Isis D'Luciano, that her name meant "stupid, dirty girl" when she asked him whether he knew that she was named for an Egyptian goddess.

The G-Word

The city council of a community in California overrode the objections of some citizens and opted to put a plaque on the wall of the council chambers with the words "In God We Trust" on them, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

To allay concerns in some corners that the plaque was divisive and an inappropriate endorsement of religion by a public body, the plaque in Oceanside, Calif., will not be paid for with public money.

Still, some in town were not happy.

Resident Janet Bledsoe Lacy told the council that the plaque "would transform these public buildings into an altar for God despite the fact that it is divisive." Another, Nadine Scott, griped about the plaque and the Christian tone of the invocation at the start of the council meeting, saying, "I do not want you cramming your personal belief down my throat."

Proof Positive

An Iranian news agency, Mehrnews, is in a tizzy because some geek at a Navy recruiting center in News Orleans, La., named one of the office computer servers "Gestapo."

The agency says the discovery suggests a pattern of harassment and cyber-stalking of Muslim journalists and is proof that the U.S. military is overrun with neo-Nazis (search).

A spokesman for the Pentagon said the server was named Gestapo (search) some six years ago by an unknown computer tech. Lt. Mike Kafka said the server name "directly violated Navy policy" and was disconnected.

He said the name "implies no affiliation with any group."

Celebrating America

Officials in a Florida city were forced to blur the image of a Confederate flag from a TV commercial for the city's annual Celebrate America festival following complaints from one local resident, reports the Tallahassee Democrat.

The ad, which featured scenes from a music video by country artist Mark Wills, showed the singer climbing out of the car from the Dukes of Hazard (search), which has the flag painted on its roof. City officials blurred the flag in versions of the ad that appeared after the complaint.

In a letter to the paper, local resident Lorian Miles said she was offended by the image. "While some view the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride, the vast majority of people view it as a symbol of the South's racist past," she wrote.

Just the Facts ... Ma'am?

A 50-year-old male pharmacist in Colorado who wants to go to work dressed as a woman has filed a discrimination complaint against his employer because the company told him he couldn't, reports the Denver Post.

Kim Dower, who has worked at King Soopers pharmacy as a man for nine years, said he is undergoing gender transformation and wants to wear the garb of his target gender.

He has filed a complaint with the local office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

An editors note at the bottom of the story says that in cases of gender transition, The Denver Post uses the preferred gender in its use of pronouns. We here at TongueTied prefer to stick to the facts.

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


Randy G. writes:

I'm just waiting to explain to my grandchildren why my generation was so racist that we eliminated every reference to the native American culture from our society.

Jason writes:

The world also should not have to walk on eggshells for fear of "offending" one group or another. The nation used to be "the greatest generation." Now it's turning into a bunch of spineless chumps sitting around WAITING to be offended.

James S. writes:

Often the articles presented in Tongue Tied take my words away by their absurdity, but the "English Class" article just threw me for a loop. I have no idea how anyone can accost a school in America for not writing official letters in Spanish as well as English. Does the LULAC realize how hypocritical they are with the statement of "in a language they can understand", or realize the senselessness of it all?

Looking at the source article we find that 16 percent of the school in question is Hispanic. That is their heritage, not their nationality. They are Americans first and foremost, and if they are not, then they should not be attending an American school.

Leslie N. writes:

I understand the implications of sending letters home in every student's "home language," but as a bilingual education teacher in Texas, I do my best to send correspondence home in Spanish. Why? Because I would like to have my parents involved in the education of their children. Many of them are learning English, but as we know, the process of acquiring a language is: speaking, reading, writing. Therefore, if they are not speaking English, they will not be reading it yet either.

I do not view this as political correctness, I view it as consideration for a parent whose child is in my classroom.

G.L. writes:

The only thing to remember, when one hears the peaceniks or any other group protest something as innocuous as the GI Joe giveaway, is that weak-kneed protesters never won for our citizens any of the freedoms we enjoy. Sacrifice and selfless service of patriots is what came through again and again against tyranny.

Let them protest -- they're out of touch and irrelevant.

Andy W. writes:

I suppose that if the military can't appear to be supporting religion by helping Bob Parker give gifts from the heart to the families of our fallen heroes, it had better start ripping up the religious symbolism at Arlington and all the other military cemeteries to be consistent. No gravestones for any of those patriots lest someone get the idea that they might have had religious beliefs. Is this where the PC crowd wants us to go?

Update: The U.S. Army has since reversed itself.

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