"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press"
The primary site for this blog mirror is HERE. Dissecting Leftism is HERE (and mirrored here). The Blogroll. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing) See here or here for the archive index of this site
27 February, 2015
Sean Penn criticized for "xenophobic" Green Card joke
Sean Penn's remark about Mexican-born Oscar-winner Alejandro Inarritu's
immigration status at the end of Sunday's Academy Awards telecast struck
many as an insult, but the director says it was nothing more than a
brutal joke between old friends.
In announcing the win for "Birdman," Penn asked, "Who gave this son of a bitch his green card? Birdman."
The term "green card" refers to a document that confers permanent residency to immigrants in the United States.
"I found it hilarious," Inarritu said after the ceremony. "Sean and I
have that kind of brutal (relationship) where only true friendship can
Inarritu directed Penn in his 2003 film "21 Grams," and the pair remain
friends. Penn posed for pictures with Inarritu after the ceremony.
The director, who won three Oscars on Sunday night, said he has told
many similarly brutal jokes at Penn's expense. "I make on him a lot of
very tough jokes that I will not tell you," Inarritu said.
Joke or not, the remark struck many online as problematic for an awards
ceremony that had been criticized for not having more nominees of color.
Affectionate abuse is a common thing among men
Kanye West left his fellow stars speechless as he debuted his new single, All Day, at the 2015 BRIT Awards on Wednesday evening.
The controversial rapper delivered an expletive-filled performance
[including "N*gger] as he revealed the latest single from his yet-to-be
released album that drew mixed reactions from the likes of Taylor Swift
and Lionel Richie.
In the ferocious performance which saw the star sharing the stage with
British grime artists such as Skepta, Krept and Konan, Jammer and
Novelist, the rapper was heard saying the N-word at least three times
despite ITV’s attempt to mute his swearing.
26 February, 2015
Must not joke about security frisking
A high-ranking corrections officer has been sacked after joking on
Facebook that he had been 'groped' by guards during a tour of prisons.
Former state trooper Michael Allred had accompanied his boss, the
secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety Stephen Moyer, on a
tour of prison facilities in Jessup, Maryland on Wednesday.
Later that day he posted on Facebook: 'Visiting the prisons ... haven't
been groped this much since the flight on the honeymoon ... and this is
just the guards!'
Incredibly Allred tagged both his boss Moyer, and 'Maryland House of
Correction' in the post which quickly circulated among other prison
A statement posted on the Department of Correctional Services
website confirmed that Allred had been dismissed for 'inappropriate
comments made on social media'.
'AFSCME members believe that Michael Allred's social media comments were
inappropriate and insulting to 7,200 Maryland correctional officers,'
AFSME said in a statement.
'The secretary has the utmost respect for correctional officers and
requires all employees to respect the department, their authority, and
their peers,' the department said on its website.
Must not associate dreadlocks with marijuana
I guess Rastamen don't exist
Giuliana Rancic has apologized for making 'racist' comments about 18-year-old singer Zendaya.
In the Tuesday on air apology Rancic said she was sorry for claiming
that the Disney star looked like she smelled of weed just because she
'I'd really like to address something that's weighing really heavy on my
heart,' the TV host began. 'I want to apologize for a comment that I
made on last night's Fashion Police about Zendaya's hair.'
'As you know, Fashion Police is a show that pokes fun at celebrities in
good spirit, but I do realize that something I said last night did cross
Furor erupted online on Monday after Rancic claimed Zendaya smelled of patchouli just because she has dreadlocks.
The comments went further on the Academy Awards special when the show
cut to a picture of the singer on the red carpet - a voice off camera
could be heard saying that the Disney star smelled like 'weed'.
25 February, 2015
LAPD Targets Citizens’ Free Speech Rights
Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), wrote a
letter recently to Larry Page, CEO of Google, to complain about the
Waze app’s ability to track the location of police officers.
Waze is a wildly popular mobile app, owned by Google, that lets users
type in their destination address, and, while driving with the app open
on their phone, passively contribute real-time traffic data. Users can
also actively report accidents, traffic jams, police locations, or any
road hazard by tapping buttons, giving other users in the area a
It’s the police-location feature that Beck opposes.
“It is not always in the public’s best interest to know where police are
operating,” Beck said, explaining the letter. “There is a criminal
element that are able to ply their trade and ply their craft more
effectively by knowing where police are.”
Beck concluded his letter by asking for a “dialogue” with Page on how
“Google can prevent the future misuse of the Waze app to track law
enforcement officers . . .” It is not a stretch to surmise that Beck
wants the police button removed from the app.
Let’s be clear about what Beck is asking: He wants this app, and
presumably any similar traffic app in the future, to not allow private
citizens to communicate with each other about the public whereabouts of
If mandated by governments in the future, such a ban would be a clear
infringement of citizens’ free speech rights, and a dark and dangerous
road to go down.
The ultimate sacrilege -- censoring Shakespeare
Wolf Hall star Mark Rylance claims he has to edit Shakespeare plays to remove 'antisemitic' lines.
The British actor and former artistic director at the Globe Theatre in
London said he feels compelled to cut certain parts which have taken on
more 'resonance' since the Holocaust.
Rylance, who plays Thomas Cromwell in the hit BBC drama, was speaking at
the Globe where he unveiled a copy of Shakespeare's first folio -
recently found in France.
'From what I know of talking to scholars, our own practices are not different from what they did at the time.
'If you went out and played in a puritan town in the north of England,
you took out some of the things that were going to offend those people.'
Professor John Jowett of The Shakespeare Institute at the University of
Birmingham said: 'Anti-Semitism is a fact of the early modern culture in
which Shakespeare lived, worked, and thought, and he was not exempt
'Critics have often remarked on his sensitive and to some extent
sympathetic presentation of Shylock, but there is always an element of
Shylock is a Jewish moneylender
This is ridiculous. There is a famous scene in "The Merchant of
Venice" (Act 3 scene 1) which is widely held to be a plea by Shakespeare
for Jews to be treated equally:
"Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions,
senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same
weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd
and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you
prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you
poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we
are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that".
24 February, 2015
Young woman forgets that only blacks can use the n-word
Kate Moss's model sister has been forced to apologise after sending an
'ill thought-out' tweet using the N-word. Lottie Moss, 17, took to
her account at 4am last night to tweet a lyric from Chris Brown's song
Loyal which includes the offensive word.
She went on to tell her 7,000 followers how it had been a 'successful
night' because she had thrown a drink over her ex-boyfriend.
The tweet, sent at 4am, featured a lyric from a Chris Brown song which included the offensive word
She tweeted: 'I just want a monkey,' adding afterwards: 'When a rich n***a want ya and ur girl can't do nothing for ya'.
A spokesman for the model told MailOnline that Lottie was 'hugely
apologetic'. She said: 'Lottie unfortunately made an ill-thought
out use of a song lyric, and she is hugely apologetic if any offence has
Another quarrel with reality and history
Leftists seem to believe that if you don't think about it, it will go away
A tourist attraction popular with children has sparked fury by
displaying a model railway version of Auschwitz complete with cattle
trucks, labourers' huts and barbed wire.
A Holocaust survivor was among those to criticise Birmingham's Wonderful
World of Trains and Planes for the 'crass' miniature railway set of the
infamous concentration camp.
The static train set is a dark addition to the intricate village green,
mountain and woodland rail layouts at the venue, which is popular with
children and model enthusiasts.
The detailed model of Auschwitz, where at least 1.3million people were
slaughtered during the Second World War, shows a train entering the Nazi
The model of the camp where around a million Jews were murdered is
situated next to a 1930s seaside scene and Swinging Sixties London in
the tourist attraction.
The exhibit claims it 'will take you on a journey of adventure past, present and future'.
Mala Tribich, a survivor of both Ravensbrück and Bergen-Belsen
concentration camps who now gives talks on the traumatic experiences,
also criticised the model railway.
The 84-year-old said: 'What are they trying to say? They used trains in
wartime and trains played a very big part in the Holocaust, they could
not have done what they did without trains.
'They were moving millions of people, but then you have to show the
whole exhibition in a different context. As it is, it is useless,
Visitor to the attraction Simon Hardy said: 'It's just unthinking and crass. Totally bizarre, those are the only words for it.
Peter Smith, managing director of Birmingham's Wonderful World of Trains
and Planes, defended the piece and said it had proven popular with
He said: 'It's gone down very well. I have seen people in tears as they
realise that without the trains the Holocaust would not have happened.
23 February, 2015
Former Conservative candidate quits the party after calling feminists 'left-wing lesbo-groupies' on Twitter
Feminists are indeed generally Leftist and a lot of feminists are admitted lesbians so the man's biggest fault was realism
A former Conservative candidate has resigned from the party after
calling a group of feminists 'left-wing lesbo-groupies' on social media.
Nick Morris, who describes himself as a Conservative 'activist', went on to call them 'cretins' in a later tweet.
He made the comments in response to a post by feminist campaigner
@LiraelClayr who was tweeting about a campaign against male violence
In the tweet, Mr Morris, who stood as a Conservative candidate for
Sheffield Richmond in the 2004 Sheffield City Council elections said:
'Frankly I really dont care what you and leftwing lesbo-groupies
Following a backlash on Twitter, Mr Morris hastily deleted the offensive
tweets and his account. He later issued a statement apologising for his
2 Broke Girls slammed for Aboriginal joke
The popular American comedy show was called out by Aussie viewers for
the offensive remark, which occurred during the first five minutes into
the season 4 episode titled “And the Fun Factory”.
In the scene a male character reveals that he has been flirting with an
Australian girl online and says: “She’s part Aboriginal, but she has a
Unhappy viewers took to social media, with former Nine personality and
The Block contestant Chantelle Ford just one of the many to voice her
“They were inferring that Aboriginal means inferior. The other
characters laughed like it was the funniest thing they had ever heard.”
Aborigines are generally very "disadvantaged" so the joke was just a bit of realism.
22 February, 2015
Clothing manufacturer forced to apologise for putting jokey 'Give it to your mum - it's her job' on washing label
An Italian clothing manufacturer has been accused of sexism after
selling fashion items complete with washing instructions reading: 'Give
it to your mum - it's her job'.
Politician Federica Mazzoni, who works at the equality commission at the
legislative assembly in the country's Emilia-Romagna region, was
incensed when a friend bought a cardigan for her son from the Shoeshine
clothing brand and found the offensive label.
Ms Mazzoni, 28, has now lodged a formal complaint with Italy's
advertising council the IAP - although the company that distributes
Shoeshine clothing, Unipersonale, has dismissed the controversial
washing instructions as 'a simple joke aimed at teenagers'.
Beneath a list of ordinary washing instructions including 'Machine wash
cold' and 'Do not dry clean' the Democratic Party MP found the English
language instruction: 'Or give it to your mum, it's her job'.
Must not compare Greece to a kebab
The BBC has been criticised for stereotyping by using a kebab to explain Greece's potential exit from the eurozone.
The news report explores how Greece might leave the EU - the so-called 'Grexit' - by comparing Greece to a kebab.
It comes as eurozone finance ministers are gathering in Brussels for
make-or-break talks that could see Greece break away from the EU.
In the report by BBC journalist Dougal Shaw, he says: 'To understand
this let's think of a more familiar kind of Greek exit. Let's do it with
one of the Mediterranean's finest exports, the kebab.
Viewers took to Twitter to criticise the BBC saying it was stereotyping
by using the analogy of the kebab. Steve Giddens, a journalist,
said: 'Grexit explained with a kebab - nice to see the BBC are not
succumbing to racial stereotyping.'
University professor and author Stephen Westland wrote on: 'Greek euro
exit explained - with kebab. Quite a pathetic analogy. You can do better
20 February, 2015
Krispy Kreme have dangerous initials
Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme has apologised after bizarrely branding a
half-term club KKK Wednesday - the same initials used by the US race
hate group the Ku Klux Klan.
A billboard at the Hull branch advertised the outlet's half-term Krispy Kreme Klub 'KKK Wednesday'.
But after details appeared on social media the company faced complaints
that the initials were the same as the racist group, the Ku Klux Klan.
Krispy Kreme created KKK Wednesday with the store in St Stephen's
Shopping Centre, Hull as part of a calendar of activities designed to
keep kids occupied during half term.
The club will allow youngsters a chance to decorate their own doughnuts and also other activities.
Krispy Kreme issued a formal apology and said: 'Krispy Kreme apologises
unreservedly for the inappropriate name of a customer promotion at one
of our stores.
'This promotion was never intended to cause offence. All material has
been withdrawn and an internal investigation is currently under way.'
NZ Pork producers under fire for jocular advertising campaign which calls on men to 'give mums a night off cooking'
A new advertisement campaign telling men to 'man up, put on an apron' in
order to 'give mums a night off' is under fire for pushing an outdated
and sexist message.
The intention behind New Zealand Pork's television and Facebook ads
appear to have been to send up sexism, stating: 'there are more women in
New Zealand's workforce today than ever before but men are still not
putting on an apron and doing their share of cooking'.
However it clearly backfired, with social media users taking to Twitter
and Facebook to criticise the campaign, dubbing it 'sexist' and an
Recipe names include the likes of 'your big pork balls', with a glossary
definition for the words 'recipe book' being 'the thing your wife
stands on to reach things'.
One of the instruction for a Pork Belly recipe states: 'Throw it in a
170 degree oven and watch a Grand Slam Final of women's tennis (roughly
30 minutes)' while the other instructions measure time in how long it
takes to drink a beer - 15 minutes, according to the ad.
19 February, 2015
Marquette’s dangerous subversion of free speech
Marquette University is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman
Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They seem to
have strange ideas about what tenure and academic freedom mean
Marquette University plans to fire tenured political science professor
John McAdams for criticism of a graduate student and philosophy
instructor published on his blog.
Marquette is a private university, and thus is not bound directly by the
First Amendment. Despite this, Marquette makes various promises of free
speech and academic freedom to students and faculty that hold it to
standards similar, if not equal, to those of a public university. And
Marquette has been consistently backwards on free speech throughout
McAdams’s case. While refusing to defend his free speech rights in the
context of his private blog, for instance, Marquette has argued that
graduate students, by the very virtue of being graduate students, have a
right to be free from public criticism, an argument that does not
withstand basic scrutiny.
Primarily, however, I want to focus on Marquette’s most dangerous
argument, which is that McAdams himself bears direct responsibility for
the harassing and threatening communications received by graduate
student and philosophy instructor Cheryl Abbate from third parties after
McAdams published his criticisms.
McAdams, of course, had no control over what unidentified third party
individuals sent to Abbate. Yet Marquette justified revoking McAdams’s
tenure in part by arguing that he “knew or should have known that [his]
Internet story would result in vulgar, vile, and threatening
communications” and that he thus bore responsibility for them.
On this point we cannot be too clear: Marquette’s logic is entirely
divorced from basic notions of free speech. As Robert Shibley put it in
FIRE’s press release, “A fundamental principle of our society is that
you aren’t responsible for how unrelated and possibly unhinged third
parties react to your speech.”
If bloggers like McAdams become vicariously liable for what others say
or do in response to their writing, free speech as we know it ceases to
exist, and industries like journalism immediately collapse under the
weight of their collective liability. .”
The threats Abbate received from others are reprehensible. But McAdams
is simply not responsible for them. If Marquette fires McAdams based on
its profoundly misguided notions of free speech, it will have ended a
lot more than McAdams’s professional career: It will have ended free
speech and academic freedom at Marquette in any meaningful form.
is a far-Leftist who says that things like homosexual marriage
are so obviously right that they must not be discussed or
challenged in her class. A conservative student objected to
that and McAdams publicized it. So the university is backing up
her censorship with more censorship. The "tolerant" Left just
cannot tolerate disagreement with their beliefs. Rather like
And a Catholic university going to extreme lengths to defend
homosexuality is rich. Would the Pope be allowed to address
homosexuality there? Apparently not.
Most nominally Catholic colleges in America seem to have lost their
Catholicism long ago. If I were a Catholic, I think I would be
offended that they still represent themselves as Catholic. It's
No free speech about transgender people in Britain
Mary Beard says she was left 'wanting to cry' after she was bombarded with abuse for speaking out in favour of free speech.
The celebrated academic joined other campaigners in calling on
universities not to ban speakers perceived to be hostile to transgender
But just hours after a letter - signed by Professor Beard and many
others including gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell - was published,
she faced a torrent of abuse on Twitter.
The original letter claimed it was 'illiberal and undemocratic' for
universities to ban lecturers and academics deemed 'transphobic',
meaning prejudiced against transsexual people.
But the letter sparked an angry backlash from some in the transgender
community and Professor Beard was later branded an 'unrepentant bigot'
and Mr Tatchell was called a 'parasite'.
Mr Tatchell, 63, said he has received more than 5,000 messages attacking
him since the letter was published, some of which, he said, were
He told the Independent: 'On Saturday night, after the first attacks
started, I couldn't sleep. I was so upset about being misrepresented as
an anti-trans bigot.
18 February, 2015
An innocent joke heavily punished
The nastiness of the Left on display
A PR consultant has revealed how a tweet she sent to amuse her 170
followers ended up making her a global hate figure and ruined her life.
Justine Sacco's ill-thought-out message, sent before she boarded a
flight to South Africa in December 2013 read: 'Going to Africa. Hope I
don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!'
It cost the 30-year-old from New York her job and her reputation after
it was re-tweeted by tech blogger Sam Biddle to his 15,000 followers.
Tens of thousands of people responded in outrage accusing Justine of
being ignorant and racist and calling for her to be sacked from her role
as the senior director of corporate communications at IAC.
People continued to troll her and more dirt was dug from her deleted
Twitter account with BuzzFeed posting an article called '16 Tweets
Justine Sacco Regrets'.
Now more than a year on, Justine has spoken of the negative impact the
incident has had on her life and how she never intended the tweet to be
taken literally. 'I thought there was no way that anyone could
possibly think it was literal.'
'I had a great career, and I loved my job, and it was taken away from
me,and there was a lot of glory in that. Everybody else was very happy
about that,' she said.
She added that it has also ruined her love life: 'I'm single; so it's
not like I can date, because we Google everyone we might date. That's
been taken away from me too.'
Justine told Jon that she realised she 'couldn't sit at home and watch
movies every day and cry and feel sorry for myself' forever and she
needed to 'make steps to reclaim my identity and remind myself of who I
As a result, she now has a new job and is wary of what she shares on social media.
Lightning flashes incorrect
A University students' union has been forced to apologise after using a
Nazi SS victory symbol to advertise a German-themed drinking event.
Dozens of students at Aberystwyth University complained after spotting
the resemblance between the double lightning bolt on the Bierkeller
advert and the Siegrune used by Hitler's bodyguard.
University chiefs insisted the logo was accidentally used to separate
Welsh and English text on the poster for the sold-out night and removed
it from the Facebook event.
But students branded the organisers 'insensitive and inappropriate' for
using a poster which glorified the brutal fighting force responsible for
the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity.
17 February, 2015
"Girl" is a dangerous word
From national security to education, and from the corporate boardroom to
raising children, the PC police are in full force. Becoming more
emboldened every time their actions go unopposed, they now espouse a
“one-up” mentality to outdo their comrades with the next outrageous act.
And their momentum continues unabated, common sense and the
Constitution be damned.
Consider these recent events:
The president of the Professional Golfers Association of America,
Ted Bishop, was fired for “insensitive gender-based” statements —
codespeak for completely innocuous remarks — prompting the PGA to issue a
nauseating response: “We must demand of ourselves that we make golf
both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it. ... We
apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way,
by this unacceptable incident.”
And what did Bishop say that was so heinous? He took issue with comments
made by British golfer Ian Poulter criticizing Ryder Cup golf captains
Nick Faldo and Tom Watson. Bishop tweeted that Poulter was a “Lil Girl,”
while, on Facebook, Bishop wrote: “Tom Watson and Nick Faldo ... get
bashed by Ian Poulter. Really? Sounds like a little schoolgirl squealing
If you’re waiting for the bombshell language, sorry to disappoint, but
there isn’t any. In other words, a top executive was canned for calling
someone a squealing school girl in a tongue-in-cheek social media post.
Who in their right mind could possibly feel “diminished” by that? And
what do Bishop’s comments have to do with being, or not being,
“welcoming” or “inclusive?” What does that even mean? Have these people
lost their minds from hanging out in the clubhouse bar too long?
Copenhagen: the bloody, murderous denial of free speech
Another month, another murderous assault on those who believe in and
exercise the freedom of speech. Today’s shooting at a free-speech debate
in a cafe in Copenhagen may not have been as bloody as the massacre at
the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January: according to reports, one
person is dead, and the cartoonist who was presumably the target – the
Muhammad-mocking Swede Lars Vilks – survived. But the intent seems to
have been the same: to punish those who blaspheme, who dare to say
offensive things, who refuse to bend the knee at the altar of PC and
instead either say and draw scurrilous stuff or defend the right of
others to do so. In the second decade of the 21st century, a couple of
hundred years since those dark days when it was the norm in Europe for
the spouters of strange or ‘wicked’ or simply unpalatable things to be
executed, a fashion for killing the free-speaking seems once again to be
stalking the continent.
What is especially disturbing about the shooting in Copenhagen is that
it was an assault not only on Islam-ridiculing cartoonists — which would
be, and has been, heinous enough — but on what seem to be ordinary,
engaged citizens, keen to discuss the value of freedom of speech. This
gathering of people, who had come to hear not only Vilks but also the
French ambassador to Denmark, who was speaking about the post-Charlie
Hebdo situation, found themselves under a hail of bullets simply for
taking part in a debate on ‘Islam, blasphemy and free speech’. This
should feel chilling to everyone who is interested in public debate and
the liberty to think and say and discuss what we please. For now, even
those of us who aren’t especially interested in drawing cartoons of
Muhammad, but who do want to speak and argue in favour of other people’s
absolute freedom to do so, find ourselves to be potential targets.
Today, it seems, it isn’t only the exercise of freedom of speech that
can earn you summary punishment; so, too, can simply thinking about
freedom of speech.
16 February, 2015
Racism: FBI director calls it like it is
Comey has been praised for admitting that police often react
differently to blacks and whites. Everybody seem to have
been impressed by that -- while at the same time
conveniently overlooking what he said is the cause of that: Black
In an unusually frank and personal speech, FBI Director James B. Comey
on Thursday addressed “hard truths” about policing, acknowledging racial
bias among law enforcement officers and lamenting a “disconnect”
between police agencies and communities of color.
Police “often work in environments where a hugely disproportionate
percentage of street crime is committed by young men of color,” Comey
said. “Something happens to people of goodwill working in that
environment. After years of police work, officers often can’t help but
be influenced by the cynicism they feel.”
A police officer, whether “white or black,” has a different reaction to
two young black men on the side of a street than he does to two white
men, Comey said, because the black men “look like so many others the
officer has locked up.”
At one point in his remarks, Comey cited the song “Everyone’s a Little
Bit Racist” from the Broadway musical “Avenue Q” in making the case that
everyone makes judgments based on race.
“Look around and you will find,” Comey said, quoting the lyrics, “no one’s really colorblind.”
Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP, which
has been deeply involved in the response to the shooting in Ferguson
last year, applauded Comey’s remarks.
“It is extremely profound and timely that the folks at the highest level
of the justice system and law enforcement are beginning to talk
publicly about what they know and we have always suspected,” Pruitt
Chicago local candidate was too jocular
A civil rights group is calling out 43rd Ward candidate Jen Kramer for a
series of tweets sent from her personal Twitter handle that the group
said are offensive.
The more than a dozen tweets from Kramer's personal account include
racial references to a pedicurist and driving in Cabrini-Green, among
The tweets were brought to light by The Civil Rights Agenda, a civil rights advocacy organization founded by Jacob Meister.
"These tweets are not illegal. However, they are inappropriate, they
show poor judgment and a lack of respect for other people that is
offensive and just plain wrong," said Anthony Martinez, executive
director of the civil rights group.
"I clearly said some things on my social media feed several years ago
that I shouldn't have," Kramer said. "But the notion that I am
insensitive to gay rights is just patently false."
Kramer noted her work with Special Olympics Chicago, the Gay Games, the AIDS foundation and Gay Pride Parade.
You can read the comments at the link. They are lighthearted but
do either implicitly or explicitly mention minority groups, which is a
BIG no-no. Must not laugh "inappropriately"
15 February, 2015
Hate-filled SPLC apologizes for slur on black Republican
The Southern Poverty Law Center offered an apology of sorts on Thursday
to Dr. Ben Carson, a black potential Republican presidential candiidate,
for lumping him in with neo-Nazis, skinheads, and Klansmen on its
influential 'Extremist Watch' website.
The iconic American civil rights group targeted Carson, a world-renowned
retired pediatric neurosurgeon, because he is a Christian who opposes
The SPLC has seen its mission creep from defendng the civil rights of
African-Americans to embracing a broader target list that includes
'white nationalists, anti-gay zealots, black separatists, racist
skinheads, neo-Confederates' and others.
'In October 2014, we posted an "Extremist File" of Dr. Ben Carson,' the
SPLC wrote in a statement on Thursday. 'This week, as we've come under
intense criticism for doing so, we've reviewed our profile and have
concluded that it did not meet our standards, so we have taken it down
and apologize to Dr. Carson for having posted it.'
The mea culpa quickly took on a backhanded quality, however.
'We've also come to the conclusion,' the group added, 'that the question
of whether a better-researched profile of Dr. Carson should or should
not be included in our "Extremist Files" is taking attention from the
fact that Dr. Carson has, in fact, made a number of statements that
express views that we believe most people would conclude are extreme,'
the group added.
The bulk of the published statement consisted of a list of those quotes.
Carson's attack at the hands of the SPLC was a hot topic of discussion
among American conservatives this week as Carson moves closer to
announcing a White House run.
'I don't think the left can stand the idea that the next black president
might be a Republican,' one U.S. Senate staffer said, requesting
anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press. 'And the
SPLC is a left-wing group. Don't forget that.'
At the National Book Awards last November, Daniel Handler, better known
as the children’s author Lemony Snicket, bounded onstage after
Jacqueline Woodson won a top prize for “Brown Girl Dreaming,” the
chronicle of her family’s history from slavery to civil rights. As the
applause for her award died down, Mr. Handler, the evening’s M.C., told
the crowd that Ms. Woodson had once shared with him over lunch that she
was allergic to watermelon.
“Just let that sink in,” he said.
It didn’t take long. The next day, authors and critics decried his
remarks as insensitive and racist. Mr. Handler took to Twitter and
apologized for overshadowing his friend’s achievement with what he
called “my own ill-conceived attempts at humor.” Underscoring his
regret, he offered to donate funds to the “We Need Diverse Books”
campaign Ms. Woodson supports. Ms. Woodson responded with an opinion
article on the Op-Ed page in The New York Times that said that Mr.
Handler, in making light of the racist association of African-Americans
and watermelon, “came from a place of ignorance.”
13 February, 2015
An impolite techie
A day after apologizing for making insensitive remarks on Twitter, the
technology chief of Jeb Bush's presidential campaign-in-waiting has
In one tweet posted in 2009 and since deleted, Czahor wrote, "new study
confirms old belief: college female art majors are sluts, science majors
are also sluts but uglier."
He praised Martin Luther King Jr., saying that the civil rights leader
"didn't have his pants sagged to his ankles, and he wasn't delivering
his speech in `jibberish' or `slang."'
Fanatical antisemite tells UNC-Chapel Hill audience that "civility" is a racist term
But hating Jews is OK, apparently
More than 100 students, faculty, administrators, and political activists
packed a lecture hall at UNC-Chapel Hill last Thursday to hear
controversial indigenous studies professor Steven Salaita speak about
academic freedom and censorship.
Salaita has become a celebrity of sorts. Last summer, the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rescinded its job offer to Salaita after he
posted a series of caustic (or, as my colleague George Leef has
described them, “astoundingly nasty”) anti-Israel tweets.
While most of the Chapel Hill audience cheered at various points during
Salaita’s speech and seemed to be star-struck by his presence, one
audience member voiced strong dissent. During the Q & A session, a
man who described himself as a Jewish UNC employee referred to one of
Salaita’s infamous tweets, which stated, “At this point, if Netanyahu
appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian
children, would anybody be surprised?”
Earlier in his speech, Salaita claimed that those who refer to his
tweets as “uncivil” are actually perpetuating deep-seated “colonial”
racism. According to the professor, the word “civility,” as it has been
used in the context of post-16th century North American civilization,
“sets up a hierarchy that distinguishes between those who are capable of
entering into modernity and those who are incapable of entering into
such a passage.” Salaita said that University of Illinois administrators
were unaware of those New World, “racist” connotations. “They thought
‘civility’ was [an] innocuous word.”
12 February, 2015
Urban Outfitters has once again angered consumers with one of its
designs, this time with a tapestry that closely resembles a Nazi
concentration camp uniform forced upon male gay prisoners during the
Anti-Defamation League, an organization dedicated to fighting
antisemitism, issued a statement yesterday calling for Urban Outfitters
to stop selling the tapestry; which is not listed on the retailer's
website, but was photographed at a store in Boulder, Colorado.
'Whether intentional or not, this gray and white stripped pattern and
pink triangle combination is deeply offensive and should not be
mainstreamed into popular culture,' said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL's
national director and a Holocaust survivor.
The tapestry in question does not currently appear on Urban Outfitters'
website, but a store clerk from its Boulder store told The Daily Dot she
'recalled seeing it sold in the last few months' but added it was no
Urban Outfitters' other tapestry designs retail for between $39 and $69,
and are described as being 'the perfect piece for topping off your bed,
wall, or favorite chair', or used as a 'beach or picnic blanket'
These activists would have a fit in India -- with swastikas everywhere
Must not mention monkeys
Scrubs actor Zach Braff has apologized after a tweet he sent on Sunday
night comparing Pharrell’s bellboy outfit at the Grammys to the flying
monkey in The Wizard of Oz got him into trouble.
For the performance of his award-winning song Happy, singer/producer
Pharrell wore a bellboy-type hat and jacket that provoked much online
While many viewers tweeted about Pharrell’s likeness to the bellhop in
the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, others wondered if – given his
political-charged performance – the outfit was a reference to black
Braff joined the online debate when he jokingly shared a side-by-side
picture of Pharrell and the flying monkey from the 2013 The Wizard of
Oz-remake – Oz The Great and Powerful.
His post sparked much intense debate online and he was called out for
not realizing that comparing African Americans to monkeys could be
construed as an offensive racial slur.
On Monday Braff posted an apology, claiming that his reference was inspired by his voiceover role as a monkey in Oz.
'I love Pharrell. I thought the outfit he wore was similar to that of my bell hop in Oz. I apologize,’ he tweeted.
11 February, 2015
Money is no no object when the goal is to shut students up
Dozens of posters plastered across the University of Michigan caution
students not to say things that might hurt others’ feelings, part of a
new “Inclusive Language Campaign” at the state’s flagship public
university that cost $16,000 to implement.
Words declared unacceptable through the campaign include “crazy,”
“insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,”
“ghetto” and “raghead.” Phrases such as “I want to die” and “that test
raped me” are also verboten.
Students have been asked to sign a pledge to “use inclusive language”
and to help their peers “understand the importance of using inclusive
language,” according to campaign materials.
“This program is intended to be educational, not regulatory,” Fitzgerald
said of the campaign. “We hope there is only the understanding that we
all participate in, and have the power to influence campus culture.”
Students living in university housing are urged to take part in a Change
It Up! workshop, which “brings bystander intervention skills to
first-year housing residents for the purpose of building safe,
inclusive, and respectful communities.”
Before and after completing these workshops, students fill out surveys
in which they reflect on internal biases that may pose a threat to an
“inclusive campus.” [Sounds like a Maoist self-criticism session]
Maine school must drop Indian mascot
"Cultural violence" gobbledegook below. How is an Indian mascot racist? It celebrates Indians if anything
The president of the Greater Bangor Area NAACP has formally asked school
officials in Skowhegan to stop using the Indian name and image as a
mascot for sports teams.
In a letter dated Friday, accompanied by copies of a petition, NAACP
President Michael Alpert writes that his organization is dedicated to
“universal civil rights and to the eradication of all forms of racism” —
including use of the Indian mascot, which he called a symbol of racism.
“The implications of cultural violence embedded in Skowhegan High
School’s nickname and mascot are deeply offensive to native people,”
Alpert writes. “Just as important, the nickname and mascot degrades your
Alpert said the NAACP is acting in support of efforts already underway
by Barry Dana of Solon, the former chief of the Penobscot Nation, and Ed
Rice, of Orono and New Brunswick, a journalist, adjunct college
instructor and author who has campaigned for the name change.
10 February, 2015
Must not mention nuns
Tristram Hunt, Labour’s shadow education secretary, is under fire after
appearing to question whether nuns make good teachers during an
appearance on a TV debate.
Labour has pledged to stop state schools employing unqualified teachers –
a policy which would rule out graduates or former servicemen becoming
teachers immediately without taking a course.
The comments came after journalist Cristina Odone, who spent some time
at a faith school and writes for The Telegraph, praised the education
she had received under nuns.
“The most inspiring teachers I’ve ever encountered were not out of
teacher training college. You know what, they taught values, not British
values, they taught real values,” Ms Odone said.
Mr Hunt interrupted: “These were nuns. These were all nuns, weren’t they?”
He added: “I know about your religious schooling and there’s a
difference I think between a state education system having qualified
teachers in the classroom.
The comments drew criticism from journalists and politicians on Twitter,
with some calling on him to clarify that he did believes nuns can make
Barack Obama causes outrage by saying religious conflict in India would have shocked Gandhi
US President Barack Obama said that religious conflict in India has
produced "acts of intolerance" that would have shocked the country's
icon of peace, Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, provoking a storm of outrage.
Obama made the remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington,
which also raised the ire of conservative Christians in the United
"Michelle and I returned from India – an incredible, beautiful country,
full of magnificent diversity," Obama said, "but a place where, in past
years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by
other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their
The "acts of intolerance" would have "shocked Gandhi, the person who
helped to liberate that nation," Obama said, employing the honorific
used in India for the revered freedom fighter. ["Gandhi" is not an honorific. It is a surname]
"So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency
in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith," he
added. "In today's world, when hate groups have their own Twitter
accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can
be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to
At the prayer breakfast, Obama was seated near the Dalai Lama, the
Tibetan spiritual leader who has long lived in exile in the hills in
Northern India after fleeing Chinese repression. This irony was not lost
on critics here.
"The best example of India's tolerance was the Dalai Lama sitting next
to Obama," India's finance minister Arun Jaitley said Friday, according
to the news channel NDTV. He also said that India has "a huge cultural
history of tolerance; any aberrations do not alter that history."
Obama had also referred to the country's history of religious conflict
during his final speech in New Delhi on January 27, saying "India will
succeed so long as it is not splintered on religious lines." White House
officials said later said the speech was about inclusivity and the
power of diversity and was not aimed at Modi or his government.
The religious conflict in India is between Hindus and Muslims. Centuries
of oppression by Muslims have not been forgotten by Hindus and they do
as a consequence still loathe Muslims. Obama is however right
about Gandhiji. He did oppose Muslim/Hindu conflict.
"Mahatma" and "ji" are both marks of respect in India.
9 February, 2015
Simple Exercise of Free Speech at EMU Triggers Faculty Demands for Punishment
Yik Yak is a forum for people who are geographically close to one another
Honor students at Eastern Michigan University [EMU], angry about a
course with mandatory 9 AM Friday 3-hour sessions seemingly designed in
part to indoctrinate as much as to teach, have apparently nixed the
experimental program, cut into the school’s fund raising, and caused at
least 2 of the 3 professors involved to refuse to teach it because of
adverse comments on Yik Yak.
While the faculty union is in an uproar, demanding measures like
punishment for the offending students and a ban on Yik Yak, at least
some professors say it shows how a simple exercise of free speech can
help overcome the traditional imbalance of faculty-student power in the
classroom, and be a teaching tool.
“Although virtually all of the power to control what is said in a
classroom traditionally lies with the professor, and both colleges and
individual faculty members can choose to indoctrinate more than teach,
Internet-based tools like Yik Yak can help redress the imbalance,
empowering students to freely express contrary and unpopular views – and
even criticize their teachers – especially if the teachers appear to be
both unprepared and to stifle discussion,” says public interest law
professor John Banzhaf of GWU.
EMU Professor Steve Krause is critical of the faculty union’s claims
that the Yik Yak incident constituted “serious student misconduct,” and
that students used it to “sexually harass and defame” faculty.
He wrote “there’s a difference between something rude and insulting in
the realm of free speech and speech that is both a threat and
harassment. Calling someone a ‘bitch’ or a ‘bastard’ or whatever might
be rude or insulting, but it’s clearly free speech. Saying ‘I want to
hurt/rape/kill her or him’ is a threat, and that’s different. Based on
what I’ve heard about this particular course, it is not at all clear to
me that what happened went beyond the rude and insulting.”
Argentinian president writes racist tweet poking fun at stereotypical Chinese pronunciation… during state visit to China
She's a dim Peronist (Far Leftist)
Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner has come under fire for posting a
racist tweet poking fun at stereotypical Chinese pronunciation during a
visit to the country aimed at strengthening relations.
Kirchner, who is facing questions in her own country over the death of a
prosecutor who had accused her of helping to cover up a terrorist
bombing, replaced the letter R with L in a tweet mocking the accent of
the people she was meeting during the state visit on Wednesday.
This resulted in the post, which it appears was supposed to suggest the
1,000 people at the event had only attended for the 'rice and
petroleum', reading: 'are they here only for the lice and petloleum?' in
an attempt to mimic the Chinese pronunciation.
She seemed to make matters worse when she said 'sorry' and the
'ridiculous and absurd' situation should be 'digested with humour'.
8 February, 2015
Canada: Must not link terrorism and Islam
Two national Muslim organizations say they are troubled that Prime
Minister Stephen Harper last week drew a link between radicalization and
Harper made the remark last Friday when he was answering a question
about the Canadian government's new anti-terrorism legislation. The
measures unveiled in Bill C-51 include criminalizing advocacy for or
promotion of a terrorist act. Another measure lowers the threshold
needed for police to arrest somebody they suspect may commit a terrorist
Asked how to distinguish between teens messing around in their basements
and someone who is radicalized, Harper said it would be a serious
offence "no matter who you are."
"It doesn't matter what the age of the person is, or whether they're in a
basement, or whether they're in a mosque or somewhere else," Harper
said Friday in Richmond Hill, Ont.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Canadian Muslim
Lawyers' Association (CMLA) said in a press release Monday that they are
"deeply troubled" Harper "implicated Canadian mosques as venues where
terrorism is advocated or promoted." In a press release, the groups
demanded Harper apologize.
Attack on free speech at Oxford university
Hundreds of protesters wielding placards took to the streets to oppose
an appearance by French far-right leader Marine Le Pen at Britain's
prestigious Oxford Union debating society today.
The leader of Front National's speech was delayed by more than an hour
as some protesters tried to scale the walls from the street outside and
others chanted anti-fascist slogans.
They held up signs reading 'Le Pen never again' and 'Oxford Union is
offering a platform for fascists', as the red brick university came
under fire for inviting the controversial speaker.
Ms Le Pen took over the reins of the far-right party from her father
Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011 and is expected to make a bid for the French
presidency in the 2017 elections. The party made gains in both local and
European elections last year.
A statement released today by Oxford Union, which describes itself as
the world's most famous debating society, reads: 'This term card
continues the Oxford Union’s tradition of balancing information,
education and entertainment.
'The Oxford Union is a politically-neutral institution. Our members have
a variety of views as do our views as do our speakers, officers and
staff. 'An invitation from the union is not an endorsement of any
'The union believes in the principle of freedom of speech and we would
encourage all members who disagree with an invited speakers’ view to
attend the event and question the speaker.
'We allow our members to meet people face-to-face and make up their own
minds. 'We invite no speakers who do not accept the right of our
members to question them. Marine Le Pen will be answering questions from
the audience after her address.'
6 February, 2015
British supermarket cancels 'Rear of the Year' awards ceremony for staff after complaints it was 'offensive'
Once again, references to physical attractiveness are incorrect
A Sainsbury's store which planned to hand out awards for 'sexiest'
female and male workers and staff 'rear of the year' has now cancelled
the event after complaints.
Supermarket workers in Ely, Cambridgeshire were set to hold an
Oscars-style award night at a local venue as a fun night out for
The planned event had 17 awards up for grabs including the titles of
'Mr/Mrs Chatterbox', 'Pure Banter', 'Hard Grafter' and 'Longest Tea
Organisers even planned a red carpet with a photographer and told guests to dress smartly.
But four of the categories - 'Rear of the Year Male', 'Sexiest Male',
'Rear of the Year Female' and 'Sexiest Female' - caused upset among
staff and their families.
The fiancee of one employee, who asked not to be named, tweeted a photo
of the leaflet promoting the night and said: 'Does this leave a bad
taste in your mouth too, or have I lost my sense of humour?'
She later added: 'I found the categories, particularly the ones about
which colleague was the sexiest or had the best bottom, extremely
Sainsbury's said the awards night was organised locally and was cancelled as soon as objections were raised
UK: Pub embroiled in racism row over historic sign that showed 'vain labour' of white couple trying to scrub a black boy clean
A small village in Staffordshire is fighting to keep the name of their
local pub and its original signage which shows a black boy being
scrubbed in the bath by a white couple.
Yarnsfield locals have battled for 20 years to keep the sign in the
166-year-old Labour In Vain pub, after it was first removed in 1994
after two 10-year-old girls complained. It was then replaced by a farmer
In 2001, then-licensees Christine and John Glover found the sign and
hung it in the beer garden, prompting the Stafford and District Racial
Equality Council to request it be removed from view. The sign was given
less prominence, but remained on display in the garden.
In 2009 Vince Hannant and Debbie Donovan took over the pub and again
there was talk that the 'sign should come down'. But at the time Mr
Hannant was reported as saying the locals told him, 'Don't even touch
it, we've been though so much to keep it.'
Pub regular Richard Charwood was said to have then arranged a referendum
of villagers to find out if they wanted to keep it. They were
reportedly overwhelmingly in favour of doing so.
'Everybody is outraged. There is not one person who uses this pub that
thinks the name or the sign is racist. 'It should stay as it is
because the pub is an integral part of the village's history.'
Local John Rogers, 80, said he fears the pub and village will lose its
identity and its heritage if the name is changed. He added: 'It
has been called the Labour In Vain for more than 100 years.
British pub signs go back to the time when many people were not
literate. The particular pub was identified by the picture on its
sign for those who could not read. And a memorable sign avoided
confusion. It had nothing to do with race.
5 February, 2015
British politicians have a human right to sound racist, says equalities watchdog
Some easing up, it seems
Politicians should be free to say things which “could be construed as
racist” while debating issues such as immigration, the Government’s
equalities watchdog has insisted.
New legal guidance on freedom of expression in the UK also defends the
right of media outlets to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, if
they consider it in the public interest, in the wake of the terrorist
attacks on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo last month.
But the advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission also
contains a series of warnings – including one to faith schools over
their approach to controversial topics such as gay marriage.
It argues that while schools designated as having a religious character
have a legal right to teach their own beliefs on subjects such as
sexuality and same-sex marriage, they could still face a discrimination
action if their handling of the issue is considered inappropriate or
The Commission said the new guidance was needed to help address “muddle”
over the law, particularly in the wake of the Paris terrorist
But the National Secular Society – which successfully campaigned
alongside the Christian Institute against “insulting” behaviour being
treated as a public order offence – said it underlined how free speech
in Britain relies on a complicated “patchwork of laws” in urgent need of
a “root and branch review”.
The paper said there was often a “fine line” between comments which are
protected under human rights law and those which could be deemed to be
But it added that “very little interference” with political campaigning,
journalism and commentary on matters of public interest could be
justified, particularly during election campaigns.
“Speech that is intended to inform rather than offend attracts greater
protection, even if it could be construed as racist,” the guidance says.
“Beliefs, opinions and ideas – even deeply-held beliefs – cannot be
immune to criticism or satire. Democracy depends on people being free to
express, debate and criticise opposing viewpoints.
Must not eat the Lord Ganesha
A Hindu activist has urged the Bond Street Chocolate company of New York
to withdraw its “Ganesh Chocolate,” a figurine of Lord Ganesh made with
chocolate, calling it highly inappropriate.
Rajan Zed, Indian American president of Universal Society of Hinduism,
in a Jan. 31 statement said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in
Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and
not to be eaten casually.
Zed urged Bond Street Chocolate to show some responsibility, respect and
maturity by “understanding the hurt feelings of Hindu community” and
stop manufacturing Ganesh-shaped edible chocolates.
I have a big bronze image of Ganesha in my entrance hall, mounted respectfully. I think he is a lot of fun.
4 February, 2015
Must not even mention the KKK
Even if you are trying to be anti-racist. The sensitive petals feel "threatened" even at the mention of it
A University of Iowa vice president repeatedly defended UI's initial
statement and later response to the removal of a controversial sculpture
on the UI Pentacrest on Dec. 5, even amid criticism that the statement
inaccurately described the artist's intentions and undermined the
university's commitment to free speech.
Before issuing UI's statement at 12:20 p.m. Dec. 5, vice president for
student life Tom Rocklin spoke with the artist, visiting art professor
Serhat Tanyolacar. Rocklin also had received information explaining that
Tanyolacar intended his public artwork to be a critique of ongoing
racial violence in the U.S., according to emails and other
correspondence released by UI last week.
"I have learned a lot from listening to students over the last few
days," Rocklin wrote to UI law professor Alexander Somek on Dec. 9.
"While I understood that I would view the piece through the lens of my
own privilege, hearing the students pour out their hearts as they
described the fear they felt when the saw the piece was a visceral
reminder that intent is only part of the question ... and sometimes
impact trumps intent."
Indian censors object to musician's use of 'Bombay' for Mumbai
When he released his first music video, the Mumbai-based musician Mihir
Joshi understood that it would be reviewed by India's Central Board of
Film Certification for obscene or offensive lyrics. When the board
objected to a single word, he quickly agreed to part with it.
But he was flabbergasted to hear that the word was "Bombay."
The music video was broadcast on the MTV Indies cable channel over the
weekend with the offending place name replaced with a bleep and blurred
in the accompanying subtitle. "I have nothing against the word
'Mumbai,'" he added, a little plaintively. "I'm not calling it
'Constantinople' or 'Atlantis' or whatever."
He chose "Bombay" in the second line of the song, he said, because he
needed a rhyme with "today." But by doing so, Joshi stumbled into one of
India's many unresolved tugs of war over history and identity.
Mumbai, a word drawn from the Marathi language, has been the official
legal name of Joshi's home city since 1995, when the nativist political
party in power chose it to replace the Anglicised name Bombay, used
since colonial times.
Not everyone adopted the new name, though. Some kept using Bombay out of
long habit or institutional inertia - the city's stock exchange and its
high court still bear the name, for example. Others stuck with Bombay
as a political statement, rejecting what they considered xenophobic
politics behind the change.
The film censor's decision drew considerable criticism and mockery on
Monday, but the board's top official, Pahlaj Nihalani, said he stood by
the decision, which was made by his predecessor. (Mr Nihalani became the
board's chairman in January.)
3 February, 2015
Must not sing Dixie
In 2013, during the trial and conviction of a black man, James D. Kirk,
Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin, as reported by Idaho
Statesman writer Sven Berg, paraphrased lines from the song "Dixie" as
she addressed the jury at the end of Kirk's trial.
"Some people know it. It's the 'Dixie' song, right? 'Oh, I wish I was in
the land of cotton. Good times not forgotten. Look away. Look away.
Look away.' " Kallin then went on to ask the jury, wasn't it being asked
by the defense to look away from the testimony of the prosecution
During appellant arguments, Eric Fredericksen, the state public
defender, stated that whether she meant to or not, Kallin made the case a
racial matter. While the state denies the use of the "Dixie" lyrics as
being a racial ploy, defense attorney Aaron Bazzoli, who represented
Kirk at trial, commented, "I don't know if it impacted (the verdict),
but when you are sitting in the courtroom and there is one black guy
sitting next to you and the prosecutor's singing 'Dixie' - it just
seemed a little weird."
Anyone with knowledge of U.S. history would see the direct connection.
From its beginning, "Dixie" was racist and insensitive. The song, often
credited to Ohio-born Daniel Decatur Emmett, originated in the blackface
minstrel shows of the 1850s. Its lyrics, written in an exaggerated
version of African-American vernacular English, are a story of a freed
black slave longing for the plantation of his birth. During the Civil
War the pro-slave Confederacy adopted the song as its de facto anthem.
With the Civil Rights Movement, many identify the lyrics of "Dixie" with
the symbolism and ideology of the Old South. Certainly for the black
community the song harks to the collective memory of slavery,
discrimination and racial separation. "Dixie" brings forth all the
painful memories past and present.
The Idaho Court of Appeals agreed, saying it "does not require resort to
articles or history books to recognize that 'Dixie' was an anthem of
the Confederacy, an ode to the Old South, which references with praise a
time and place of the most pernicious racism. The prosecutor's mention
of the title, 'Dixie,' as well as the specific lyrics recited by the
prosecutor, referring to 'the land of cotton,' expressly evoke that
setting with all its racial overtones."
The court gave weight to the importance of both the constitutional
obligation to provide criminal defendants a fundamentally fair trial and
the interest of maintaining public confidence in the integrity of
judicial proceedings against imposing a stringent standard to determine
whether harmful error occurred. The court ordered the conviction vacated
and remanded for further proceedings.
Must not mention a woman's looks
An obituary for author Colleen McCullough published in The Australian
newspaper has sparked anger this morning, with readers labelling it
The article, which begins by describing the internationally acclaimed
Australian author as "plain of feature" and "overweight" was tweeted by
ABC journalist Joanna McCarthy along with the words: "Award for worst
opening lines of an obituary goes to ... #everydaysexism."
McCullough, who died on Thursday at the age of 77, worked as a
neuroscientist in the United States before turning to writing full-time.
Her much-loved The Thorn Birds, a romantic Australian saga published in
1977, has sold 30 million copies worldwide and is the highest-selling
Australian book, helped by the popular 1983 mini-series.
Twitter users have highlighted the disparity between The Australian's
reporting of McCullough's death and that of fellow author Bryce
Courtenay, the latter hailed "one of Australia's greatest storytellers".
The incident calls to mind The New York Times' obituary for Yvonne
Brill, where the scientist's professional achievements were listed below
her cooking prowess and success as a dedicated wife and mother.
2 February, 2015
Army Deletes Tweet About ‘Chinks In Armor’ After People Cry Racism
Apparently, being “offended” is a force so powerful that not even the U.S. Army sticks to reason
The U.S. Army has deleted a tweet that used the term “chinks” in armor
after people freaked out that the same word can be used in a completely
different context as a racial slur against people of Chinese descent.
“Chinks in special ops’ digital and physical armor poses challenges,
experts say,” the tweet read, followed by a link to a news release about
how terrorists’ using social media has left a hole — dare I say, a
chink in — our country’s defenses.
Originally, the release had a headline similar to the tweet, according
to the Washington Post. It has since been changed, however, because
apparently calling someone racist is an irrefutable argument even when
the accusation is based on not knowing what words mean.
For some, the deletion of the tweet was not enough — because how dare those Army jerks not apologize:
Timberland cancels its A.P.C. shoe collection after unwary Frenchman uses the word n*****r
He was too clever for his own good. A.P.C. is a French ready-to-wear
brand, founded in 1987 by the Tunisian-Jewish born designer Jean
Touitou. Timberland LLC is an American manufacturer and retailer of
outdoors wear with a focus on footwear. Timberland says that it is a
proponent of corporate social responsibility so they are super
Timberland has terminated its relationship with A.P.C. after founder
Jean Touitou used 'offensive remarks' to introduce the brand's fall 2015
menswear show in Paris this week.
While holding up a sign that read, 'Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS,' Mr Touitou
explained that A.P.C's collaboration with Timberland is 'a very strong
Yesterday Timberland chose to 'immediately terminate' its involvement
A.P.C., including the footwear collaboration it had planned for this
According to A.P.C., Mr Touitou didn't mean to offend. In a
statement sent to BuzzFeed, the brand stated: 'During the A.P.C.
presentation in Paris Jean Touitou made a reference to two moments in
recent popular culture.
'One being the song Niggas in Paris by Kanye West and Jay Z and the
second being the Bernardo Bertolucci film Last Tango in Paris. The
connection was used to describe a look for the collection and was in no
way intended to cause offense.'
Later, Style.com asked Mr Touitou to clarify what he meant.
He explained via Email: 'I made looks which are a cross-over of those
two references: the Timberland shoes and the sweat pants are iconic of
hip-hop, and the camel hair color coat, worn with nothing under it, is
iconic of that precise movie.
'I am friends with Kanye [West, who recorded Ni**as in Paris with Jay
Z], and he and I presented a joint collection at the same place, one
year ago, and that this thing is only a homage to our friendship.'
1 February, 2015
Facebook to censor images of Prophet Mohammed in Turkey
Business is business, I guess
Facebook has reportedly agreed to censor cartoons of Prophet Mohammed
just two weeks after its founder defended the right to free speech in
the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks.
The social network made the decision after Turkish authorities
threatened to block the site entirely if it did not remove the images -
some of which come from Charlie Hebdo magazine.
The dramatic about-face will be personally embarrassing for Zuckerberg,
coming weeks after he defiantly said: '[Facebook] will never let
one country or group dictate what people can share.'
'We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or
group of people dictate what people can share across the world'.
According to the BBC, Facebook has now blocked pages 'that offended the
Prophet Mohammed' after getting an order from a court in Ankara,
Facebook's founder was branded 'a first rate coward', a 'sorry excuse
for a human', and 'a liberal coward' by users after news of the decision
British singer James Blunt upsets gay people with joke about soap in the showers
The joke is an allusion to the prevalence of homosexuality in British
private schools. Apparently Blunt is supposed to like that.
He went to Harrow
James Blunt has been accused of homophobia after joking about 'picking
up the soap' in the showers around fellow public schoolboys including
David Cameron and Boris Johnson.
The pop star faced a backlash after posting the comment online alongside
a magazine front cover of himself under the words: 'Does it pay to be
The group were pictured sipping champagne and wearing white tie evening
dress on the cover of the New Statesman, to go with an article on
privilege and success.
Blunt, 40, posted the image on Twitter and then joked: 'I won't be picking up the soap when this party moves to the showers.'
Gay rights charity Stonewall condemned the Old Harrovian's comments.
A spokesman said: 'Although James might have been joking, it's this sort
of language that perpetuates negative stereotypes around gay men and
gets deemed as acceptable as it becomes ingrained in society.'
Twitter users were also unimpressed. Lisa Gifford wrote: 'Just when I
thought James Blunt couldn't be any more repugnant, he manages to put
homophobia and a rape joke together.'
This is Tongue-Tied 2
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press"
Posts by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)
HOME (Index page)
Alternative (monthly) archives for this blog are here
Is the American national anthem politically incorrect? From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general
rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at
2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or
nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea
offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The
First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and
religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar
Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that
speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change
is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is
directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely
to incite or produce such action."
The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying
that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian
says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"
One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson
"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many
Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically
repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters
that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to
talk about it?)" -- Mark Steyn
A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis
once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces
stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety
lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and
Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's
thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said
himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree
with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
I am of a similar mind.
The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will
break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today
are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.
The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it
A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and
"homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally
ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse
masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is
engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective
Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless
they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda
aside, which statements really are racist? Can statements of fact about
race be "racist"? Such statements are simply either true or false. The
most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement
is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race.
Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl
that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of
them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by
itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less
intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he
could simply be mistaken or misinformed.
Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left
define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor
wrong. It is simply human
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply
mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise
from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that
mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"?
If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are
racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? "You and we are different races. We
have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any
other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but
this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think
your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while
ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If
this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be
separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as
racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as
the "Full spectrum of light" House?
The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is
right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies
there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.
While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save
it." -- Judge Learned Hand
Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to
Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them
is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher
Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that
foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment
that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your
own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not
to let your impressions carry you away."
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so
necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error
to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less
danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all
manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason?" -- English poet
John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response
Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you
said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize
something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech
"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such
thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles
that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing
the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal
Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not
find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have
been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in
life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding
oneself in the ranks of the insane."
I despair of the ADL. Jews have
enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish
organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians.
Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry --
which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish
cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately,
Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish
dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.
Email me here (Hotmail address).
Index page for this site
DETAILS OF REGULARLY UPDATED BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
BLOGS OCCASIONALLY UPDATED:
"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
BLOGS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
OF INTEREST (2)
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Bank of Queensland blues
There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)
Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)
Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the
article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename