Tongue Tied

April 25, 2006

That Dreadful Color Again



"Queen's University, one of Canada's most academically elite schools, admits it has allowed a "culture of whiteness" to take root that fails to welcome visible minority students and professors."

Source

"Visible minorities" is Canadian for blacks, Eskimos and Asians. The chairwoman (naughty word!) of the university's "equity committee" is Prof. Joy Mighty, who is black and who reports that she herself has encountered no discrimination.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Five Highly Esteemed Texas Teachers Lose their Jobs



And the Principal in charge of the school has now been "reassigned". Why? Because the teachers put on a "roast" (a skit or speech comprised of jocular insults) as part of a school celebration:

"They portrayed students and staff from another campus in our school district as unprofessional, unruly and not motivated to learn," Simmons said. "The teachers in this skit displayed a level of cultural insensitivity that is simply unacceptable."

Source

According to the Education Wonks, the school that was sent up was "another TISD school made up of minorities and low-income students". Nobody is saying exactly what was in the skit. I doubt that the skit would have been put on if it was very offensive but nobody really knows. A wall of silence has descended.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Nazi Rally Permitted in Michigan



But it was the pro-"tolerance" demonstrators who threw the rocks!

"A heavily patrolled rally on the Capitol steps Saturday drew a noisy crowd of 77 Nazis and some 500 supporters and opponents but led to little more than profane name-calling, 16 misdemeanor arrests and several minor injuries, police said. A city-sponsored diversity rally attracted a crowd of 700. Members of the media covering the Nazi rally outnumbered the activists from the National Socialist Movement, a white separatist group based in Minnesota.

Hundreds of riot-gear-clad police surrounded the Nazi group and 3,000 feet of chain-link fence helped separate Nazi sympathizers and protesters. The 77 activists gathered on the Capitol steps, and supporters and opponents were kept in separate fenced-off areas. Police said they learned from mistakes made at a rally staged by the same group in Toledo in October that devolved into rioting and led to more than 100 arrests. In Lansing, several Nazi supporters were injured when they attempted to leave a fenced area and were attacked by the protesters, who outnumbered the approximately 40 Nazi sympathizers by more than 10-to-1.

The Nazis were brought in on three buses with police motorcycle escort. Metal detectors, bomb monitors, police dogs and mounted police helped keep the peace. Police allowed only foot traffic into the area. Police said rocks were thrown at some officers as protesters left the rally site and windows of a police van were broken out....."

Source

To me Nazism is an absurdity but respecting their right to free speech did have the slight benefit on this occasion of showing up the "anti-Nazi" Leftists as practicing just another brand of intolerance and aggression.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



"Mirror" (Backup) Sites



ALL blogs have some downtime. Blogs hosted on blogspot are well-known for it but other hosting services have their failures too. As any systems expert will tell you, however, the key to system reliability is redundancy and I have taken that onboard as the way to beat all the service outages that regularly have all us bloggers weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth. So what I do is put up extra copies ("mirrors") of my various blogs. As an old computer hand from way back (I wrote my first computer program in 1967), it takes me only a couple of minutes to do, so I do it. It is compiling the blog that takes the time. Putting up another copy of it is no trouble at all.

So if this blog is unavailable when you try to log on, you have an alternative! You can find the posts elsewhere! Bookmark this site and you will always be able to find a second copy of any of my blogs.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here




April 24, 2006

Thank You



I am pleased to say that readers have responded well to my request for links to interesting stories. I have used most of the suggestions I received. Those that did not directly concern speech or self-expression I have been putting up on Political Correctness Watch.

So all I can say is: Keep 'em coming!

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Wicked Mural



Some students at the University of Kentucky want a mural on their campus erased. The mural has been there since 1934.

"You see, part of the 46-foot expanse depicts a Native American lurking behind a tree, watching a pioneer woman draw water from a stream. And he has a tomahawk in his hand. As described in a Lexington Herald-Leader story, this mural also contains early Central Kentucky scenes in which black workers plant crops, black children watch a white boy fish, and white folks dance while black musicians play.

Source

The mural is being defended as accurate history.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



"Fairy" Penguins Incorrect



We read of some more fairy sensitivity -- this time in Australia:

"Theme park bosses have re-named their colony of fairy penguins amid fears they could upset the gay community. Managers at Sea World, on the Gold Coast, are now calling the species "little penguins" in case associations with the word "fairy" offend visitors to the park. "We didn't have any complaints about the name of the penguins, but someone thought they could be seen as offensive so we decided to change it to little penguin instead," a Sea World spokeswoman said."

Source

To their credit, local homosexual community spokespeople said the whole idea of the name-change was ridiculous.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



April 23, 2006

Confederacy not to be Referred to in New York Schools



News excerpt from Ithaca, New York:

"In a letter sent to parents this week, Ithaca High School administrators have banned the display of Confederate flag insignias on any clothing, bags or other items students previously brought to school. "We have found that the display of the flag in such forms has caused and continues to cause feelings of ill will," reads the letter, dated April 3 and signed by Principal Joseph Wilson. "Such feelings in turn have led to disruptions to our operations and educational process." Starting Monday, students who refuse to remove or cover up images of the flag will be disciplined, probably for insubordination, according to Superintendent Judith Pastel."

Source

Previous Supreme Court decisions have upheld the right to display Confederate insignia as being protected free speech -- so this prohibition is being done in the name of "preventing disruption". It seems that some white students have been wearing Confederate belt-buckles etc. to claim a group-identity similar to what is automatically allowed to blacks, Hispanics etc.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here




Not much Respect for Free Speech in Connecticut



How do you shut down a Christian rally in Connecticut? Easy. Any excuse will do. Just tell the police that Nazis will be present, for instance. You will be believed. And instead of questioning the source or turning up to control any "Nazi" excesses the police will just ban the whole rally. The police are not there to protect free speech. Oh no! They are there to restrict it at the drop of a hat. Think I'm exaggerating? It happened recently in Danbury, Connecticut. See here. (Hat tip to Newsbusters)

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Sunday Meditation



Regrettably, I do not get the time to read all comments on all posts on this blog but a recent comment describing my posts as "a steady diet of items dealing with the evil of homosexuality" quite amused me. In fact only 1 out of 10 of the posts prior to this one referred to homosexuality and only a Leftist would see even that one as claiming "evil" in homosexuality. It was just a news excerpt with no comment from me about homosexuality at all.

So how do we explain such spectacular wrongheadedness? If my guess is correct and the author of the comment is himself homosexual, I think it is an instance of something constantly noted on this blog -- oversensitivity among once-persecuted minorities. Oversensitivity among such people is of course to be expected and reflects no discredit on them but, like everything else, it can be carried to absurd extremes. And I think it is often carried to such an extreme that every mention by outsiders of the group concerned is seen as suspect until proven otherwise.

And in the case of homosexuality that is even more than usually absurd. Someone once very aptly said that "homosexuality has been transformed from the love that dare not speak its name into the love that won't shut up". So large numbers of homosexuals never tire of speaking about themselves and preaching for their way of life but others can only talk about them if they make clear that they are praising homosexuality. I myself will certainly not be tongue-tied in that way.

For the record, I have a homosexual sister and the lady in my life has a homosexual son. And I get on perfectly well with both the son and his partner. So I most certainly do not speak from a "homophobic" viewpoint. If I were a Leftist, I guess I would in fact take any accusation that I am homophobic as "hate speech" and prosecute accordingly.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



April 22, 2006

Intolerant and Illegal Destruction of Anti-Abortion Display



The destruction of an authorized anti-abortion display at Northern Kentucky University -- a display consisting of a field of small white crosses -- by students of literature professor Sally Jacobson -- has got a lot of press. I have been following the story on Education Watch rather than here so for the latest disgraceful development in the drama see here. Jacobson has already lost her job over it and it does seem that she is about to face criminal prosecution.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



The 9th Circuit Strikes Again



Great how they uphold freedom of speech and freedom of religion:

"A U.S. appeals court has ruled that a San Diego-area high school can ban the wearing of T-shirts with anti-homosexual slogans. In a 2-1 decision, the 9th Circuit panel in San Francisco upheld Poway High School's ban on a shirt worn by student Tyler Harper. On the front, the shirt read: "Be Ashamed, Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned." One the back, it read: "Homosexuality Is Shameful.""

Source

Have these guys ever even READ the constitution?

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Depiction of Terrorism Banned



So a Jewish art student at Penn State University arranges to put up an exhibition of his art. The theme of the exhibition is terrorism, terrorism against Israel particularly:

"Three days before his 10-piece exhibit -- Portraits of Terror -- was scheduled to open at the Patterson Building, Stulman (senior-painting and anthropology) received an e-mail message from the School of Visual Arts that said his exhibit on images of terrorism "did not promote cultural diversity" or "opportunities for democratic dialogue" and the display would be cancelled.

The exhibit, Stulman said, which is based mainly on the conflict in Palestinian territories, raises questions concerning the destruction of Jewish religious shrines, anti-Semitic propaganda and cartoons in Palestinian newspapers, the disregard for rules of engagement and treatment of prisoners, and the indoctrination of youth into terrorist acts....

Charles Garoian, professor and director of the School of Visual Arts, said ... the decision to cancel the exhibit came after reviewing Penn State's Policy AD42: Statement on Nondiscrimination and Harassment and Penn State's Zero Tolerance Policy for Hate, he wrote.

Source

So apparently nondiscrimination means you cannot mention discrimination. And it's hate to mention hatred. Just as Orwell foresaw.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



"Condoleeza" Update



Peter Ratener, the Bellevue Community College math instructor who wrote of a watermelon-hurling "Condoleeza" (See my post of 14th.) has fronted up and apologized. He is still in big trouble though. He has had to move out of his home.

Since Ratener is Jewish and so should know better, it can only have been a Leftist mentality that would cause him to cast slurs on a black conservative. Black conservatives get that all the time from Leftists ("Uncle Tom" etc.) but this guy miscalculated. Details here

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



April 21, 2006

Harry Potter "promotes Wicca"



A parent in Gwinnett, Georgia, is trying to get the popular Harry Potter children's books banned from all Gwinnett County school libraries. Why?

"It's just not fair to promote one religion over another. The Wicca religion is a recognized tax exempt religion. The books promote witchcraft and they expose children at a very early age to the symbols and the paraphernalia of witchcraft and the practices of it like casting spells."

Source

So it's a "separation of church and State" issue, apparently.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



"Merchant" = "Slaver"?



In Bristol, England, there is a big redevelopment planned for part of the city: "The massive development due to be completed in 2008 is set to transform the centre of Bristol, providing the city with a revamped shopping centre, bars and housing."

They were going to call the new development "Merchant's Quarter" -- for good historical reasons. It was of course the traders -- generally called "merchants" -- of the 18th and 19th century who through their activities caused Bristol to become one of England's great ports. But one of the things they traded in until the British government abolished the trade in 1807 was: slaves.

So the name "merchant" was held to be "insensitive" and has now been dropped. No word yet on what the new name will be. More here

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Satirical Language Risky at Yale



Yale has a satirical student magazine called "Rumpus" and, being young, the editors of it were incautious enough to satirize racism. Given that they must all of their lives have heard racism vigorously condemned, it may never have occurred to them that racist language was anything but ridiculous.

They recently published an issue (PDF) that featured prominently on its front page the term "motherf***ers". That drew no criticism, of course. And the many other uses of the f-word and an article ridiculing strictly observant Jews seem to have been OK too.

What got them into hot water was an article headed: "Me love you long time: Yale's case of yellow fever" -- which said that Asian female students were particularly attractive to white male students. Nothing wrong with that, one would think, but the satirical term "yellow fever" in the heading seems to have been a BIG problem.

There was also a second article along similar lines headed: "Miscegenation station: Interracial dating at Yale". "Miscegenation" is of course an old term of condemnation much favoured by white racists but the article in fact was ridiculing such condemnation by saying it has been defeated at Yale -- in that interracial dating is very common at Yale -- though the article did rather write off Asian male students as "nerds", perhaps with some reason.

Apparently the Yale administration refused to condemn the newspaper (on free speech grounds) but there was a big ruckus nonetheless. Somewhere around the time this post goes up there is to be a "day of silence" put on by the Asian Students Association to protest the articles:

"Throughout the day, participants will dress in black, wear black cloth gags and maintain silence in protest of recent articles in Rumpus and the Yale Herald that they say reflect "racial insensitivity toward Asian Americans and other minority groups," according to the group's statement, which participants will hand out as a substitute for speaking."

Source

The student editors have defended what they published here

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



April 20, 2006

High Irony


The Church of England's newspaper says Iranian members of a Methodist church in England were forbidden from advertising their Easter passion play by the local town council because it might offend non-Christians.

Members of the Hexthorpe Methodist Church in Doncaster wanted to put up posters with a cross and other details of the show -- dubbed an "Iranian Christian Drama" -- in the library in Rotherham, where the play was to be performed. But Elizabeth Collins, a Bible teacher with the group, said officials told them it might cause offense to other people.

"What offence can that cause to anyone?" Collins said. "This is supposed to be a Christian country. We go to other countries to promote democracy, yet on our own doorstep we can't even put up a poster about an Easter passion play."



Help Request



After many years of sterling service, the founder of this blog, Scott, wants to take a backseat from now on. That means that instead of doing around half of the posts here, I will be doing nearly all of them. But, as one person doing the work of two, I need all the help I can get. So I am hoping that readers here will be sending me lots of links to stories that might be of interest to other readers. It would be particularly good if readers would keep an eye on their local media for cases of censorship etc. I personally can only possibly keep up with the major media.

It may seem a bit odd for an Australian living in Australia to be putting up the posts on an American blog mostly concerned with America but regular readers here know me well by now so will realize that it works, no matter how odd it is. In fact, there seems to have been a slight uptick in readership since I started contributing. My posts tend to be a bit more controversial than Scott's at times but that does at least keep the comment threads humming.

I personally would like to record my appreciation of the great work that Scott has done. For a long time I used to avoid reading this blog because I knew that Scott would nearly always be ahead of me with stories that I was thinking of posting about!

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Incorrect to Mention Asian Eyes



A German concert organization arranged for a performance of the music of Richard Wagner -- with the conductor being Japanese. Since Wagner was undoubtedly a racist -- like most people of his time -- having a Japanese conductor of his music seemed worthy of note. So the advertising agency produced an advertisement that showed Wagner pulling his eyes up into an Asian shape -- as a basically humorous piece of attention-getting for the unusual combination of composer and conductor.

But Asian organizations in Germany were outraged. References to the obviously different shape of Asian eyes are apparently not allowed. Details here

If the people putting on the concert had been racist, would they have hired a Japanese in the first place?

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



We Must not Deny that Homosexuals are the New Jews



Some time ago, Andrew Sullivan rather hysterically declared that homosexuals are "the new Jews". I personally think it's a gross insult to Jews to compare the present state of homosexuals with the vast suffering that Jews have undergone but be that as it may. Various homosexual groups however appear to have embraced the idea and are now declaring that they are the new Jews -- implying that the mainstream community is persecuting them, and ignoring the fact that their rights are in fact exceedingly well protected in the USA of 2006.

At Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, however, one student, Joel Sartain wrote a letter to the campus newspaper criticizing the way homosexuals exaggerate their problems and calling on them to tone down what appeared to him to be displays of behaviour (homosexuals kissing in public etc.) that are deliberately designed to offend conservatives and Christians. He offered the advice that if you want acceptance from mainstream people, doing your best to insult and offend them was not a good idea.

So was this reasonable advice discussed, challenged or debated? No way! It evoked a "protest" -- just the sort of exaggerated reaction that Sartain had accused them of. They were protesting that anyone would say such awful things as Sartain did. And the form of the protest demonstrated how bankrupt of reasonable argument the protesters were. Their demonstration consisted of them walking around the campus for two hours with gags on their mouths but holding signs. It was as good an admission that they had nothing reasonable to say as anything I could think of.

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Double Standard on Speech About Homosexuality



You are allowed to say how wonderful homosexuality is but don't you DARE criticize it! We read about a recent episode at the Hereford Residential College of the University of Virginia:

"Controversy erupted over the weekend after a Hereford resident posted a sign on the window of his residence hall room reading "Gay? Not Fine By Me!" last week in response to the "Gay? Fine By Me" t-shirt campaign sponsored by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center".

Source

Dissent is not allowed! There were around 1,000 students displaying pro-homosexual messages without anybody criticizing them but just ONE student displaying a contrary message was a huge offence! His sign was officially condemned as "hurtful to members of the University community." In this case, however, the local homosexual organization was more reasonable than the university. They defended his right to free speech.

NOTE: I make no judgment about the characteristic mood of homosexuals so I do not refer to them as "gay".

Comments? Email John Ray. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here



Speciesism


Gay activists in Florida are pressing for the resignation of a school board member who in a discussion of an anti-bullying policy referred to homosexuals as a "protected species," a choice of words they consider insensitive, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Palm Beach County School Board Chair Tom Lynch apologized in a subsequent email, but leaders of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council say the apology was not heartfelt enough. "It doesn't appear he understands the sensitivity to gay and lesbian students when a word like that is used," said the group's leader.



April 19, 2006

$250 Offense


A new, $250 sneaker being marketed by Adidas is being criticized in Asian-American rights circles because an image on it is said to evoke "damaging and long-standing stereotypes," according to the Seattle Times.

The shoe, part of the "Yellow Series," features a character with buck teeth, a bowl haircut and slanted eyes. The character, a creation of San Francisco graffiti artist Barry McGee, who is half Chinese, is said to be a self-portrait of the artist when he was 8 years old. McGee used the image as a graffiti tag in the late 1990s and calls it art.

Dorothy Wong of the Organization of Chinese Americans wants the shoe removed from the market. She says such images define Asians as foreigners and fuel "an anti-immigrant sentiment that has been coming to the fore lately."



Ohio's Marketplace of Ideas


The Alliance Defense Fund is standing up for a university librarian in Ohio who has been accused of creating a hostile atmosphere on campus by recommending that people read books with conservative themes

Scott Savage, a reference librarian at Ohio State University in Mansfield, suggested four best-selling conservative books for freshman in his role as a member of the school's First Year Reading Experience Committee. The four books were The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, The Professors by David Horowitz, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye'or, and It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum. Savage says he recommended the books after other committee members suggested books with a primarily left-wing perspective.

Savage was put under "investigation" by OSU's Office of Human Resources after three professors filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment against him, saying that the book suggestions made them feel "unsafe."