Two items crossed my desk this weekend that are worth mention.
First, the case of man who felt that his daughter's exposure to history was "racist":
Book excerpts with N-word rile family of fifth-grader The Detroit News
By Christine Ferretti November 10, 2010
Warren — The family of a former Warren Consolidated Schools fifth-grader is suing the district, claiming the African-American girl was the victim of racial discrimination when excerpts from a book about slavery containing "outrageous statements" — including the N-word — were read aloud in class. The lawsuit, filed last week in Macomb County Circuit Court, says the district inflicted emotional distress and racial harassment on the girl by allowing a Margaret Black Elementary School teacher to read sections of the book "From Slave Ship to Freedom Road" by Julius Lester.
The lesson took place in January, and involves passages that include: "Step right up! New shipment of n-----s just in." And, "Nine months after you buy one of these n-----s, you will have a plantation full of n----r babies," according to the lawsuit.
Novi-based attorney Scott E. Combs, who is representing the family, says the incident violates Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which bars employers — and schools — from discriminating on the basis of factors such as religion, color, age, height and weight. The family is seeking damages exceeding $25,000.
Then there's the case of the hegemonic, phallocentric gingerbread MAN:
By Liz Hull
November 13, 2001
In the nursery rhyme, the Gingerbread Man fled from the clutches of an old woman and her husband.
But now he has been cornered by an even more unforgiving foe – political correctness.
Council bureaucrats have stripped gingerbread men of their gender and renamed them gingerbread ‘persons’ on menus for 400 primary schools.
Parents in Lancashire were astonished when they discovered the change.
‘It is absolutely ridiculous,’ one mother said. ‘Someone has obviously taken the effort to change this and it is almost offensive.
‘I am all for anti-discrimination but this is a pudding. The gingerbread man is a character from a rhyme in a book, for goodness sake.’
Laura Midgley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, added: ‘It is totally ridiculous political correctness, nobody wants to talk about gingerbread people. They are what they are.'
‘It is not just an innocent mistake. Whoever did it, I hope they will think long and hard about it.
‘If these sorts of things go unchallenged, they become the norm.’
The wording went out on the new autumn-winter weekly menu provided by the Lancashire School Meals Service.
Preston MP Mark Hendrick described the change as ‘daft’.
The outcry has since forced officials into an embarrassing U-turn.
They now claim renaming the biscuits was a mistake and that their gender will be reinstated as soon as possible.
"I am all for anti-discrimination" -- except when it's taken to its ultimate logical conclusion.
I won't bore my readers detailing the evolution of "anti-discrimination" into demands for the government to protect citizens from sexism and racism at bakeries and putatively "private" schools. What I will point out is that PC has become an entirely predictable self-parody. What once could only be imagined by staff writers at The Onion is now reported on in daily newspapers. As such, PC seems to have reached a terminal stage of its developement. Or so I hope. <<