A University of New Hampshire student was kicked out of his dormitory room for posting fliers suggesting that women take the stairs in order to get a little exercise and avoid gaining weight, reports the Nashua Telegraph.
Sophomore Timothy Garneau was accused of violating the school’s harassment policy, lewd conduct and defying the affirmative action code for posting a flier outside the elevator reading: "9 out of 10 freshman girls gain 10-15 pounds. But there is something you can do about it. If u live below the 6th floor takes the stairs. Not only will u feel better about yourself but you will also be saving us time and wont be sore on the eyes."
Garneau maintains that the language was a joke and arose out of his and other students’ frustration with residents who take the elevator up or down one floor and prolong the wait for people going longer distances.
He has been evicted from the dorm, put on probation until May 2006, will be forced to participate in a sexual harassment program and write a 3,000-word paper on the program, he said.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has a copy of the offensive flier, says the school has violated Garneau’s right to free speech.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Organizers of a charity bazaar in Conifer, Colo., refused to allow a local woman to set up a booth at the event because the items she wanted to sell — CDs of Christmas hymns she recorded herself — were too Christian, reports the Canyon Courier.
Evergreen resident Donna Jack was told her music was inappropriate for the 27th annual Holiday Boutique put on by the Conifer Newcomers and Neighbors organization. (The name of the event was changed from "Christmas Boutique" to "Holiday Boutique" a couple of years ago so it wouldn’t appear to be a Christian event.)
A committee member told Jack the music was nice but might be more appropriate for a church arts and crafts fair. Jack even volunteered to equip the booth with headphones so others wouldn’t be subjected to Christmas songs, but the organizers would not relent.
An Ohio poll worker was fired for mentioning that his immigrant parents learned English and that maybe citizens voting in English-speaking America should speak the language of their country, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Cuyahoga County volunteer Martin Drabek was fired by the board of elections after two Hispanics who overheard his comments formally complained.
Drabek said that during the part of the training that deals with language barriers, he did mention that his parents were from Poland and had learned English. He said he mentioned that he doesn't believe voting ballots should be in any other language than English.
"We can't tolerate that," said Jane Platten, an elections board administrator, on Drabek's removal.
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
A Republican candidate for the state house in Washington is crying foul over a mailing sent out by Democrats which features a moving van in front of a pristine suburban home, reports the Seattle Times.
Republican James Whitfield says the ad, which targets his status as a recent émigré to the district he wants to represent, is racist because it appears to evoke a past era when white neighborhoods shuddered at the prospect of African Americans moving in next door.
"I can't say what their intention was," Whitfield said of the state Democratic Central Committee, which paid for the ad. "All I can say is it's pretty insensitive or it's pretty intolerant."
State Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt ridiculed the complaint.
"It is outrageous for them to be making the charge that there is some racial implication to this piece.
"James Whitfield is a carpetbagger. It's very evident that he moved into this district just to run for office and he brought all of this right-wing baggage with him," Berendt said.
They Didn't See This Coming?
Attendees at a women’s film festival in Newfoundland are miffed that a poster advertising the festival featured an attractive woman and the phrase "films with broad appeal," reports the CBC.
Women attending the festival said the poster objectifies them and takes away from the accomplishments of female filmmakers.
But the woman in the ad, award-winning Newfoundland-raised short film director Mary Lewis, couldn’t disagree more. She said the term "broad" refers to a woman with smarts and chutzpah.
"It strikes me as such first-wave feminism," she said of the complaints. "That an image is too sensual to represent the Women's Film Festival seems to me to be very backward and prudish."
For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.
Brian G. writes:
Speaking as a Wiccan, I can say that most of us that I know are more amused than offended by the goings on at Halloween. We are far more disturbed by the people who equate us with Satan worshipers than with little kids running around in cheap costumes.
Robert B. writes:
It's worse to be ignored than to be offended. Hats off to Puyallup for banning Halloween, which PR-smart Wiccans can only consider as free advertising. In light of this dynamic, is there any doubt that the PC movement is inevitably doomed to consume itself?
Bill S. writes:
Concerning celebration of Halloween. Sunday never was and will never be the Sabbath. The Sabbath starts on Friday evening at sundown and ends Saturday evening at sundown. Therefore the little tykes will not be trick-or-treating on any Holy Day if they hold Halloween on Saturday night after sundown.
Dave F. in Cincy writes:
In response to your "Credit for Trying" section of your article, I have to ask this Monica Culver what she thought she was getting into going to a party entitled Cowboys and Native Americans. I mean, come on, did she think it was going to be a cultural look at relations between the two groups? Surely she knew it would be a Halloween themed party, and surely she should have expected to see people in "not-so-politically-correct" costumes.
Was it really so traumatic for her to see some college kids having a good time? Do you really think that those kids thought "Lets throw a party to degrade the memory of thousands of Native Americans"? I highly doubt it.
It's these over-sensitive, idealistic, and dare I say ignorant, people who are causing the freedoms and rights of being an American to lose its luster. I'm not saying let us bash on anyone or any group we want to, but what I am saying is chill out! Is Ms. Culver going to be on the streets on Oct. 31 busting every third grade in an Indian outfit?
S. Ward writes:
I have always read these Tongue Tied segments with a little concern, but never felt compelled to respond. Until now. Having just read your story "Justifiable Vandalism" on Oct. 24, I am amazed and appalled that in America now we have the "right" to destroy someone else's private property with which we disagree.
I sincerely hope that Ms. Watson will take legal action against the thugs who destroyed her display. But more so, I hope she will take legal action against the so call "law enforcers" in St. Petersburg who stood by and allowed this anarchy to take place.
Iris C. writes:
Normally, I find most of your reports of PC policing amusing, but the piece on Phillip Kurian's column at Duke University ignored the fact that his letter, entitled "The Jews," was anti-semitic in the extreme.
There is a difference between being "politically correct" and not allowing anti-semitic or racist comments to go unchallenged.
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