Wigging Out, Racist Molecules, Language Lessons
Scott Norvell, FoxNews.com, Apr. 5
State officials in Tennessee pulled a public health ad from the radio waves there after listeners complained that it played to racial stereotypes by mentioning the word watermelon, reports the Nashville Tennessean.
The ad, placed on 10 stations statewide by the Tennessee Department of Health (search), encouraged listeners to “try baking your chicken, eating a fresh tossed salad on the side and scrumptious watermelon for dessert.”
“I don’t believe it was intended to have any racial overtones,” said Diane Denton, spokeswoman for the department. “We wouldn’t want to offend anyone. We want to be culturally sensitive.”
But even some African-Americans contacted by the paper thought the reaction was overkill.
“That’s a wonderful advertisement. Tell them to put it back,” said the Rev. Enoch Fuzz, who heads the health committee of the local NAACP (search).
“African-Americans are dying at a much higher rate than other populations, and we’ve got to turn that around. That’s a stereotype we’ve got to get past. We can’t get sensitive.”
Do as We Say, Not as We Do
The president of the University of Central Florida (search) was forced to apologize after a picture of him and a university trustee wearing Afro wigs appeared on the front page of the campus newspaper, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
UCF President John Hitt said he was merely mimicking the many UCF basketball fans who have taken to wearing wigs in support of Dexter Lyons, a black student who wears his hair in a combed-out Afro.
Lyons himself said he was honored that the president wore the wig, but critics on campus accused Hitt of perpetuating racist stereotypes.
Truth Hurts (cont.)
European Union officials who rejected a study that blamed rising anti-Semitism on the continent on Muslims have issued a new version of the report, this one blaming neo-Nazis and white kids for the problem, reports the Daily Telegraph.
While admitting that some violence was committed by young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction, a summary of the new report by the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia says “The largest group of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic activities appears to be young, disaffected white Europeans.”
The summary contradicts the main body of the report, which claims, for example, that nine percent of the anti-Semitic attacks in France last year were by traditional, neo-Nazi-like groups. The figures were similar in Belgium.
Victor Weitzel, who wrote a large section of the new study, told The Telegraph that the latest findings had been consistently massaged by the EU watchdog to play down the role of North African youth.
“The European Union seems incapable of facing up to the truth on this,” he said. “Everything is being tilted to ensure nice soft conclusions … When I told them that we need to monitor the inflammatory language being used by the Arab press in Europe, this was changed to the ‘minority press.’“
A teacher at a high school in Seattle has been suspended and faces disciplinary action for stating sarcastically in class that “I don’t like black people,” reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The science teacher at Cleveland High School was reportedly fielding students’ questions about why he is so hard on them when he used what the school calls “racially inappropriate language.” His tone was described as that one would use when mocking a ridiculous assertion.
Columnist Robert Jamieson, however, says the teacher erred grievously because he comes from “a position of white-male privilege” and his audience was “primarily poor teens of color and the space all around them swarms with volatile molecules of race.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is hot and bothered about a mannequin in a used car dealer in Rochester, Minn., that it describes as “clearly offensive and insulting,” reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The mannequin, which has stood unnoticed in the corner of the office for two years, is dressed in what is described as vaguely Arabic “ethnic garb.” A belt made of rope and wire holds three empty toilet-paper rolls, made to look like explosives, and the character is holding a gas-tank hose.
“These actions do nothing to promote anything positive between cultures and community,” said Rabiah Ahmed, communications coordinator for CAIR. A Winona State student from the Sudan, Wail Kailani, brought the statue to CAIR’s attention.
A city official in Jacksonville, Fla., is being called a racist for using the phrase “you people” in response to a contractor’s troublesome questions, reports WJXT.
Contractor Bernard Wilson’s questions about a blueprint were met with a reply from city engineer Bobby Henderson that “you people are asking too many stupid questions” and that he didn’t have time to waste “on your uninformed questions.”
Wilson is demanding an investigation and has hired a lawyer.
“’You people’ has a history of being a discriminatory remark, and that is how Mr. Wilson took it,” said the lawyer, Robin Roberts.
For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.