Post below lifted from Taranto. See the original for links
Here's an appalling press release from the University of Texas:
Challenging the idea that racism education could be harmful to students, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin found the results of learning about historical racism are primarily positive. The study appears in the November/December issue of the journal Child Development.Breaking down stereotypes is all well and good, but what kind of sicko thinks it's "positive" to make 7-year-olds feel guilty about the color of their skin?
Psychologists Rebecca Bigler and Julie Milligan Hughes found white children who received history lessons about discrimination against famous African Americans had significantly more positive attitudes toward African Americans than those who received lessons with no mention of racism. African-American children who learned about racism did not differ in their racial attitudes from those who heard lessons that omitted the racism information, the study showed...
Both white and black children who learned about racism were more likely to value racial fairness and to express greater satisfaction with the lesson. White children whose lessons included information on discrimination showed more defensiveness, had more racial guilt (if they were older than 7) and were less likely to accept stereotypical views about African Americans.
Cross-dressing day sparks school exodus
Parents pull students from district, citing conflicts with biblical rules
A public school's "gender-bender" cross-dressing event, where boys were supposed to dress as girls and girls as boys, has prompted at least dozens, perhaps hundreds, of students to flee the tax-supported institutions in Iowa. Many of the parents apparently are members of the Christ Apostolic Temple in Des Moines, which teaches a biblically based doctrine of rejecting the world's values. "Christ Apostolic Temple Inc. Fellowship ... is a Bible-based organization that believes one must 'come out from among them and be ye separate.' (2 Cor. 6:14-17)," the organization's website says.
That apparently includes cross-dressing, an event which has found sponsorship in other arenas from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which has promoted a school lesson plan for teaching boys and girls to cross-dress.
State officials in Des Moines confirmed to WND that at least 80 children whose parents were alarmed by the "Gender-Bender Day" during homecoming week at the city's East High School have moved their children from the various districts in the area into homeschooling plans. Several parents told WND that the number could be in the hundreds.
One parent, writing on a blog shortly after the cross-dressing promotion, hardly could contain the outrage. In bold red type, the parent wrote, "TUESDAY AT ONE OF OUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS THEY HAD WHAT IS CALLED 'GENDER BENDER DAY!' IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT IS THEN LET ME EDUCATE YOU REAL QUICK . IT IS WHERE THE BOYS DRESS LIKE GIRLS AND VICE VERSA!!" The author continued, "THIS WAS ALLOWED AND CARRIED OUT AT OUR SCHOOLS!!! . I IMMEDIATELY PULLED MY CHILD OUT OF THE DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOL! WE ARE NOW HOMESCHOOLING ALONG WITH SEVERAL HUNDRED OTHER PARENTS!" "I AM GETTING MAD WHILE I TYPE THIS . SO I NEED TO SHUT IT DOWN."
Barb Heki is a board member for the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, and was ecstatic about the parental response. "I'm just praising God there is a church with so many families that would take a biblical stand and decide that we're not going to put our children under anti-Christian indoctrination any longer. That's refreshing and encouraging," she told WND.
A mother whose children were taken out of the public schools because of the cross-dressing promotion didn't want to be identified, but told WND she knows of probably 200 families who filled out state-required paperwork to withdraw their children from public schools. "What it is is we're following the Bible," she told WND. "There was a situation that took place, which was the gender bender day. Our children were to participate in the cross-dressing. When they refused they were told they would get a bad grade..." "The situation came out, and everybody was disgusted," she said. "Well, we're not doing it. All we did was pulled our kids out. Nothing more to be said or done."
Officials with Christ Apostolic Temple, which describes itself as an apostolic holiness fellowship, couldn't be reached for comment. But parents who talked to WND said it was a move of parents, nothing mandated or organized by the church.
An advertisement in the Des Moines newspaper said the event was part of the theme days for the school's homecoming events. "Tuesday, dress in clothing of the opposite sex for Gender Bender Day," were the instructions. Other days were "Movie Theme Day," and "Spirit Day." Phil Roeder, a spokesman for the Des Moines schools, told WND that the event was nothing unusual. "There were a couple of calls at the office at the school from parents that were concerned," he told WND. But he said the district itself had not seen any unusual activity regarding homeschooling. "Let's just say the numbers you are hearing are greatly exaggerated," Roeder told WND. "Events like this at a high school are part of homecoming week activities and certainly are not mandated events. They're voluntary activities that the students put on. "Now if the parents had any indication that their students were coerced or bullied then that's another matter. They've not brought that to my knowledge," he said.
State officials said the list of 80 students they had reviewed included students from virtually all grades and dozens of schools in several districts, making it unlikely a single district would have a large number of students affected... State law in Iowa also provides parents a tax credit for some costs of students attending "accredited" schools, but does not allow homeschooling parents the same benefit.
State Education Department officials said they had provided information to the church members about their rights and responsibilities should they choose to start a private school, or pursue homeschooling options. "Let us see what the word of God says about the matter." wrote the parent blogger. "Deut. 22:5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God."
The Pacific Justice Institute reports that in a prior school year, a California school dealt with the same issue. Officials at Adams Middle School in the Bay Area had announced a "gender switch" day. "The mother of a seventh-grade student . was alarmed when she heard that on the last day of the school's 'Spirit Week,' students were being encouraged to dress like the opposite sex. Perhaps even more disturbingly, parents were given virtually no advance notice from the school and found out about the event after flyers were posted throughout the campus," PJI reported. "The parent contacted Pacific Justice Institute on Monday, which advised her on enlisting other parents' support and communicating with the school. PJI also began laying the groundwork to hold the school accountable. In a 180-degree turnaround, the flyers posted about the gender switch day had disappeared by Tuesday morning, and the school confirmed the event had been canceled."
The principal, Adam Clark, had said he wanted to encourage students to be "free thinkers," but the "overall message wasn't coming across clear." "We commend the parents in this school who said, 'Enough is enough' and challenged the administration to re-think its position," Brad Dacus, president of PJI, said at the time. "No student should be made to feel uncomfortable at school simply because he doesn't want to cross-dress."
We've been robbed of our Englishness
Says Jeremy Clarkson
As the nation settled down on Wednesday night to watch England play Croatia, I sensed an air of optimism in the land. A feeling that all would be well. I mean hey, England were holding their own against Brazil when Croatia didn't even exist as a nation state. So what chance would these swarthy-looking Yugo-ruffians have? They were minnows in a tank of sharks. They weren't going to be beaten. They were going to be eaten.
Hmmm. I'm afraid I knew we were going to lose moments before the match began. I looked at our players mumbling their way through the national anthem and realised they didn't really care about playing for England. Because they don't really know what England is. And truth be told, neither do I.
When I was their age it was crystal clear. Newspapers would report: "Fog in the Channel: Europe cut off." Peter Ustinov would arrive at JFK airport and, having studied the signs saying "US citizens" and "Aliens", he'd ask a security guard where the British should go. We were separate, different, better.
We had hardback dark blue passports with a personal message from the Queen on the inside cover "requiring" that foreign border guards allow the bearer to do whatever he or she pleased without let or hindrance. Slap one of those down on a Frenchman's desk and the crack of invitation grade cardboard would have the greasy little oik sitting up straight; that's for sure.
We had saved the world from tyranny so often we'd lost count; we'd brought decency, truth and cricket to every continent and every coral pinprick. We'd sailed iron steamships into America when they were still using coracles. We were defined by our brilliance, our superiority, our technical know-how.
Today, things are rather different. Mention the war and you'll be told by an outreach counsellor that we must empathise with the Germans, who are coming to terms with their mistakes of the past. "And you know, children, it was actually the British who invented concentration camps . . ."
Empire? When I was at school, teachers spoke with pride about how a little island in the north Atlantic turned a quarter of the world pink, but now all teachers talk about is the slave trade and how we must hang our heads in shame.
Right. So we must forgive Germany for invading Poland. But I must beat myself to death every night because my great-great-great-grandad moved some chap from a hellhole in Ghana to Barbados. In fact I can't even say we're British any more because then all of Scotland would rush over the border, pour porridge down my trousers and push a thistle up my bottom.
I believe people need to feel like they're part of a gang, part of a tribe. And I also believe we need to feel pride in our gang. But all we ever hear now is that we in England have nothing to be proud about. In a world of righteousness we are the child molesters and rapists. Our soldiers were murderers. Our empire builders were thieves. Our class system was ridiculous and our industrial revolution set in motion a chain of events that, eventually, will kill every polar bear in the Arctic.
And it gets so much worse. Because if you say you are a patriot, men with beards and sandals will come round to your house in the night and daub BNP slogans on your front door. This is the only country in the world where the national flag is deemed offensive. Small wonder the England players were disinclined to sing the national anthem with any gusto. It's in English and that's offensive too. Unless it's simultaneously translated into Urdu, for the deaf.
Then there's our national character. In the past, boys were told in school assembly that their mothers had died and were expected to get over it in a nice game of rugby. Crying only happened abroad. Not any more. We were ordered to weep like Americans when Diana died, and no local news report is complete today without some fat oik sobbing because his house has fallen over. I sometimes get the impression Kate McCann is being hounded precisely because she has a stiff upper lip.
Every day we read obituaries about men who pressed on with the attack on a German machinegun nest even though their arms and legs had been blown off. Today disabled people get a statue in Trafalgar Square just because they got pregnant. Tomorrow all the obituaries will be for those who saved others from certain death by insisting they wear high visibility jackets. Cowardice is the new bravery.
As for that wounded soldier seen recently sporting a T-shirt that said: "I went to Afghanistan and all I got was this crappy false leg," I call that typically English. But not any more. It's appalling. A slight on disabled people. And you shouldn't have been in Afghanistan in the first place, you baby killer.
Do you see? We can't be proud of our past because it's all bad, we can't use British humour because it's offensive and we can't use understatement to deal with a crisis because the army of state-sponsored counsellors say we've got to sob uncontrollably at every small thing.
I want to end with a question. It's addressed to all the equal opportunity, human rights, diet carbon, back room, bleeding heart liberals who advise the government: "I am English. Why is that a good thing?" I bet they don't have an answer. And until they can come up with one, chances are we'll never win at football again.
British farms kiss goodbye to stiles and gates to allow wheelchair access
Stiles and kissing gates are the latest aspects of country life to fall victim to political correctness. They have been a familiar feature of the landscape for centuries, but local authorities now believe that installing them along footpaths and rights of way is a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. This law requires public services to make "reasonable adjustments" to allow disabled access.
A number of councils have identified stiles and kissing gates as obstructions for people with mobility problems or with visual impairments. Some want stiles banned and kissing gates replaced by larger ones that allow wheelchair access. The move is also part of the Government's attempt to encourage more people to visit the countryside and to learn more about farms and the provenance of food.
Some parish councils are concerned about the look of new gates and about losing long-established stiles over fences, walls and hedgerows. Farmers are questioning why they should pay for new access points when some are used just three or four times a year.
Suffolk County Council is looking at replacement gates that will allow wheelchair access but keep livestock secure. Guy McGregor, the Conservative council member responsible for roads and transport, said: "We have an obligation to provide access to footpaths for everyone. The problem is that many kissing gates are virtually impossible to use if you are in a wheelchair. Stiles are no use for people in wheelchairs and are just as difficult for parents with children in buggies.There are landowners who are not interested in any access at all and so where there are rights of way it is down to the council to pay and install gates. The larger kissing gates cost 250 pounds and there are hundreds that need replacement throughout the county. Yet our transport grant has been cut by 1.5 million pounds this year."
John Collen, a cattle farmer and chairman of the National Farmers' Union in Suffolk, is concerned about the risk of animals escaping. "Kissing gates do a splendid job keeping livestock secure and allowing public access. It is difficult to see what alternatives there could be," he said.
He added: "A lot of footpaths crossing fields are unsuitable for wheelchairs. Are we going to see paths across fields hard-surfaced so they can be used by wheelchairs at any time?" The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that it did not expect all gates to be replaced overnight. It said: "Where a kissing gate or stile is an historic feature there is no reason why it could not be left in place alongside a structure that is easier to use for those with mobility problems."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.