Public school teachers across the country are gearing up to make Sept. 11 and the war on terror part of their lesson plans this fall. A number of groups have rushed forward with politically correct curricula to fill the void, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
The National Council for the Social Studies, for example, recently created a lesson plan about "Osama," a young boy from Iraq who immigrates to the United States and is teased at school because of his name. And the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., is chiming in with its own Teaching Tolerance lesson plan to help teachers mark the Sept. 11 anniversary.
The American Forum for Global Education also has published "Terrorism: What Every Teacher Should Know" that includes a History of U.S. Government Actions to Limit Civil Liberties and suggests Alternet and the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper as sources of news about the war on terror.
A Canadian human rights tribunal has ordered a city in British Columbia to proclaim and advertise a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Day even though the local council rejected the idea as inappropriate, reports the National Post.
Ana Mohammed, a member of the human rights tribunal, said the city council of Terrace — a town of about 13,000 people 1,000 miles north of Vancouver — violated the province's human rights code by rejecting pleas by the Rainbow B.C. Coalition and the Rainbow Committee of Terrace to proclaim the pride day.
Mohammed found the "request was refused by the council because [some councilors] disapproved of what they perceived to be an 'agenda' or 'lifestyle' of the members of the complainant, finding it was 'morally and socially unacceptable.' The refusal was, in whole, or in part because of the sexual orientation of the members of the complainant."
Mohammed writes that the decision was likely to be harmful "to positive, respectful relations between people of all sexual identities and desires in Terrace and beyond and to diminish the effectiveness of any other initiatives Terrace might take to increase tolerance and reduce hatred in the community."
Blacklisted Boy Scouts
Connecticut did not violate the rights of the Boy Scouts when it dropped the group from a list of charities that state employees contribute to through a payroll deduction plan, reports The Associated Press.
A state panel removed the Boy Scouts from the list in 2000, after a state human rights commission found that including the organization violates state anti-discrimination laws because of the scouts' ban on gay troop leaders.
The Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts and a Connecticut scouting council filed a discrimination lawsuit against the state, arguing that exclusion from the list violated the group's First Amendment rights.
But U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton ruled in favor of the state.
Xmas Without Christ
A 7-year-old Massachusetts girl and her parents have sued their local school system for religious discrimination because they say a teacher told the girl she couldn't share a book about the birth of Jesus Christ with her class, reports The Boston Globe.
Laura Greska's First Amendment free speech rights were violated, said Vincent McCarthy, a lawyer for the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Laura and her parents, Jessie and Robert Greska.
Laura took a copy of The First Christmas to her second-grade class at Northwest Elementary School in December after her teacher told students to bring in a book about Christmas traditions. When Laura's teacher realized the book focused on the birth of Jesus Christ, she told the girl she couldn't share it because it was religious, McCarthy said.
Writing in Andante magazine, Paul Mitchinson says classical music is becoming yet another front in the culture wars, with one group after another decrying one composer after another for being offensive in some fashion.
Both Bach and Strauss are being called anti-Semitic. John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer is anti-American. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is compared to the "throttling, murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release." Music is now regularly interrogated for its association with "society's deepest, darkest and often unexamined values.
"When audiences in democratic countries find themselves 'offended' by music and art, there are a number of possible responses," writes Mitchinson. "Far too often, attempting to bowdlerize, sanitize, suppress or ban a work has been the first response, rather than the last."
A surgeon in England who complained that his patients' lives are being put at risk by nurses who don't speak English is being branded a racist and facing formal disciplinary action for those comments, reports the Daily Telegraph.
David Nunn, an orthopedic surgeon in London, said he was forced to stop halfway through an operation because nurses could not follow his instructions. "All are without doubt well-trained and dedicated professionals, but if medical staff cannot communicate effectively then patients' care may be put at risk," he said.
A spokesman for the hospital declined to confirm that Nunn faced the action.
In the Spirit of Free Inquiry
A conservative activist was booed, jeered and called "the white man's boy" by a crowd of nearly 300 black reporters and media figures for daring to speak against reparations at a convention of the National Association of Black Journalists, reports The Washington Times.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, presented his opinions during a debate with Michael Eric Dyson, author and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, on "The Case For/Against Reparations for African Americans."
"During the question-and-answer period, Dyson and others in the audience called me ignorant and accused me of being 'the white man's boy,'" Peterson said. "They attacked my education and the way I speak and told me that I was a pawn for the white man."
The attack on Peterson continued in Mr. Dyson's weekly column in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"If you've ever wondered what a self-hating black man who despises black culture and worships at the altar of whiteness looks like, take a gander at the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson," Mr. Dyson wrote. "In Peterson's mind, black rates of teen pregnancy, the breakdown of the black family and black people's addiction to civil rights advocacy are the unerring symptom of our moral failures."
Trent K. writes:
In the past, liberals have supported such things as the National Endowment for the Arts funding such things as Christ in a jar of urine and a painting of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung. So maybe, instead of removing the cross from the Mojave Desert, people could just submerge it in urine or cover it with excrement.
They could do the same thing to manger scenes on public property. Then judges, civil libertarians and church-state separatists won't have any problem with them.
Anne B. writes:
I'm from the Chicago area and I'm happy they dumped "Beetle Bailey" from the comics section. I have no idea if it was sexist or not. It's just a lame, out of date cartoon that is NEVER funny. I suggest they continue with the elimination of the equally horrible (and probably also considered quite sexist) "The Lockhorns."
Mike L. in Idaho wonders:
I wonder how long before the ACLU sues to get all those nasty crosses removed from that federal land know as Arlington National Cemetery? The place is just full of crosses. Maybe everyone will wake up to what the ACLU is really all about. We can only hope.
Keith H. in Chicago writes:
Wanting to ban the pig scuttle is your (Fox News') idea of PC excess? How would you and your family like to be placed in a pen and then chased by a bunch of pigs until you're captured and thrown into a bag. Animals have feelings too. In this case they feel fear and pain. The pigs are running because they're obviously scared, and they feel pain when the kids either fall on them or drop them into a bag. Not only is this cruel, but it sends the wrong message to children. Animals are not playthings.
Brian D. wonders:
According to the comment from Professor Jerilee Zezula, this event will stress the pig, causing possible long term harm. My response, "Will this affect the bacon?"
Susan K. in Lincoln, Neb., writes:
Renaming the battlefield of "Custer's Last Stand" to recognize an Indian victory rather than a U.S. loss makes me think that maybe we should also change our attitude toward Pearl Harbor. Rather than mourning the loss of U.S. lives in the attack, we should glorify Japan's "brilliant" military attack so as not to offend Japanese-Americans. And to go further, maybe we should recognize Sept. 11 not as an attack against U.S. citizens, but as a glorious success for Al-Qaeda's jihad. It just isn't PC to mourn the loss of Americans.