Campus Complaints; Higher Education Woes

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Plans to put up a memorial plaque in a public park in Evergreen, Colo., may be scotched because the family paying for it wants to include the word "Christian" in the language, reports the Canyon Courier.

The family of Steve Spalding, who was killed in a bicycling accident at age 33, wanted to pay for a memorial tree and plaque for their son in a local park. Under name and date, they wanted it to read: "A Christian adventurer whose spirit inspired our youth."

Mother Joan Spalding said the wording is important because her son was a devout Christian and outdoorsman who mentored youth.

The board that approves such requests, however, is now balking, saying the language may constitute an illegal government endorsement of religion.

Where Would We Be Without Higher Education?

Hysterical activists at an unnamed university in Chula Vista, Calif., are harassing an op-ed columnist and the paper that published his work because what he wrote was deemed racist toward illegal immigrants, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Student Nathaniel Pownell's opinion piece in The Southwestern College Sun called for a crackdown on benefits for illegal aliens and stated, "It is time to burn the leaches (sic) off our society and crack down on the people who flagrantly take advantage of America's wealth and prosperity."

Campus Socialists and the Chicano activist group MEChA were described as weeping openly when they read the piece. Robin McCubbin, a faculty adviser for the student socialist group called it "a racist attack and call for violence."

McCubbin told the paper: "Even if it's legal, is there any justification for it appearing in a newspaper for our campus?"

MEChA faculty adviser Margarita Andrade-Robledo made the mistake of coming to the defense of the U.S. Constitution and was subsequently ousted by the MEChA board.

Where Would We Be Without Higher Education (II)?

A writer for the Yale Daily News is shocked, just shocked, that the New Haven Advocate is not taking seriously a Trans Issues Week event at Yale University entitled "Part-Time Ladies."

Loren Krywanczyk says the campy tone of the blurb ("Make-Up Tips on Demand" and "Is That a Salami in Your Skirt?") was blatantly offensive to the panelists and crudely mocks the young men's gender identities.

The panelists are described as "heterosexual crossdressers, male-bodied individuals who dress or live as women but who are distinguished from drag queens by, among other things, their romantic interest in women."

Krywanczyk says the flippant tone of the article "ignores the huge variety of identities and sexualities among non-normatively gendered individuals."

Rock and Profiling

The AP says black lawmakers in Florida want a state official fired for allegedly using a Chris Rock video to generate discussion about racial profiling in a meeting with NAACP leaders.

Juvenile Justice Secretary Anthony Schembri showed the four-minute skit from the black comedian's HBO show during a meeting with NAACP officials last year. The film shows several scenes where actors dressed as police pretend to whomp on blacks who did not follow Rock's advice about how to avoid police beatings.

Schembri apologized and said he didn't mean to offend anyone, but Sen. Mandy Dawson called it "totally and absolutely racist" and demanded that Schembri be fired.

Snippets From the Animal Kingdom

Hip Hopster P. Diddy is under fire from PETA for using live penguins as decoration during the opening of his new Miami Beach hotel, the BBC reports.

The petrified penguins were reported to be cowering in the corner of a Plexiglas platform for fear of slipping into the pool in which they were floating. PETA says the heat of South Beach was probably unbearable for the birds and that the display might have violated animal cruelty laws.

In New Jersey, activists are hopping mad over a line of new candy shaped like critters run over by cars, the AP reports. The partly flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels depicted in Trolli Road Kill Gummi Candy foster cruelty toward animals, says the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

And finally, the BBC says zookeepers in Germany are under attack for introducing female penguins to an exhibit and forcing the "gay" males of the pen to suppress their true sexuality.

Bremerhaven's Zoo am Meer director Heike Kueck says gay groups worldwide complained about the decision to introduce four extra female Emperor penguins from Sweden to a group of males who have overbonded. The whiners said penguins had a right to form couples without human interference and that officials shouldn't "forcibly separate homosexual couples."

Heh Heh

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is being derided as a racist for a crack about African-American hotel workers, WJZ-TV in Baltimore reports.

In a meeting last month with members of the Democratic Black Caucus, Dean said, "You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here."

Dean says the charges of racial insensitivity are political motivated and has refused to apologize.

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

Mailbox:

Vincent G. writes:

"If it's going to offend and hurt people, something should be done," said Priscilla Cardenas, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens on campus. Priscilla might want to remember that civil rights marchers were considered offensive to some, as well as abolitionists in another time.

Rachel M. writes:

In regard to the "Capture an Illegal Immigrant Day," I have to agree it was in very poor taste. That having been said, it is perfectly within those persons' rights to do any number of things which are in very poor taste. But someone, somewhere, needs to sit down and have a chat with these people and clue them in that running stunts like these is not going to gain them any respect. It's just pushing the envelope, for the sole purpose of pushing it.

George B. writes:

Most of the religion-related examples of irrational political correctness reported in Tongue-Tied involve Christian groups forced to pander to secularists or proponents of non-Christian religions.

Examples of just the opposite abound. One would think that the FreeBSD organization, which develops an advanced UNIX operating system, is about as far removed from the culture wars as an organization can be. However, FreeBSD is considering changing its logo and mascot (currently a cartoonish creature resembling the Christian devil) to pander to the dominantly Christian United States of America.

Pressure to be viewed as politically correct by the "conservative right" is just as much a part of the problem.

Richard B. writes:

The Muslim leader's thinking that "freedom of speech should end when you offend others" clearly too severely limits freedom of speech. Yet, I have to sympathize with the effort and believe that serious Christians and Jews should join them in promoting a healthier culture.

It appears to me that Western culture is being increasingly associated with sexual excess and that this is damaging relationships with Muslim countries.

Asa W. writes:

"Stereotype threat" is not something that researchers at Harvard have just stumbled across. It has been demonstrated through controlled experiments since the 1990s, most famously at Stanford University.

Stereotype threat studies have been replicated with many different designs using many different groups (i.e. not just the disadvantaged) and the basic principle is considered common knowledge in the field of psychology. If you would like to discredit all of these controlled experiments, please either point out problems with their research designs or offer an alternate interpretation of their results.

Your column appears to advocate 'discussion' and yet your piece of stereotype threat seems to do just the opposite.

Walt C. writes:

I don't understand all of these complaints of being offended by things that college professors are saying in teaching their classes. Isn't the classroom the ultimate venue for free speech and expanded thinking? If you don't want to risk hearing something you don't agree with, don't go to college.

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