Father Klansman and his whip
Chalk on pavement supporting Donald Trump recently has been deemed threatening at Emory University in Atlanta and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. And the Ku Klux Klan was thought to be stalking students at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Social media at the Indiana campus erupted last week when a post went up warning of the white-frocked man: "iu students be careful, there's someone walking around in kkk gear with a whip."
One residence hall assistant was so alarmed he sent an email to the students he oversees, saying the person was protected by First Amendment rights and couldn't be removed from campus unless an act of violence was committed. "Please PLEASE PLEASE be very careful out there tonight," he said, "always be with someone and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors if you're alone."
The "klansman" was the Rev. Jude McPeak, a Catholic priest, who serves as an associate pastor at St. Paul Catholic Center on the campus and was out wearing his clerical robe while seeking some yogurt at Red Mango, the campus frozen custard stand. His whip? That would have been his rosary.
The residence hall assistant sent an additional email, calling it a "hilarious miscommunication" and said he'd wait for a confirmation before warning students of such dire threats the next time.
R U privileged?
Twelve-year-olds in a Spanish class at Monroe Junior High in Tampa, Fla., were recently asked in an assignment to fill out a form by circling boxes indicating "how much privilege" each one has.
The categories included race, skin color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation and disability. The options under gender included cisgendered, transgendered and genderqueer.
Gina Stiles, the mother of a student in the class, rightly took issue with the assignment, posted the form on her Facebook page and asked her Facebook friends what they would do. She told a local television station her daughter wasn't even aware of the meaning of some of the words on the sheet.
Eventually, a group of concerned parents, including Stiles, met with the principal. After the meeting, the school district removed the teacher from the class and opened an investigation.
The teachers said the exercise was meant to teach students about "diversity" and "equality." But what they have to do with teaching children how to speak and read Spanish was not explained.
A spokeswoman for the district said teachers were expected "to provide a safe environment, and this assignment could compromise that environment." She said the lesson was generated without district approval.
'Bitter old grandmother'
When Rance Howard's boys get together, they probably don't talk about politics.
Actor/producer Ron Howard, after all, is ensconced in the Hollywood liberal left, while actor brother Clint Howard is a conservative who is supporting Ted Cruz for president.
Clint, the younger and lesser-known Howard, said in 2011 that conservatives in Hollywood are singled out because of their political views. But he didn't pull any punches about Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a recent interview with The Daily Beast.
"When they look at [Clinton]," he said, "I believe what they're going to see is a photograph of a bitter old grandma. Eight years ago, I don't believe that would have been the narrative. But I don't think she can help it. I don't think she can put on enough makeup to change people's perception of her."
Like it or not, he said, the televised 1960 presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon proved the importance of "looks" in the search for a chief executive.
"She's only gotten older," Howard said, "and the sadness of looks being a part of it. I'm not sure America's going to elect a bitter old grandmother."
Putting 'systems' behind bars
The black-on-black crime you read about and hear about? It's a myth, Aaron Goggans, the core organizer of Black Lives Matter, D.C., said in an interview with CNN's Carol Costello last week.
No, he said, "it's actually the state systematically creating systems that are killing black people, both black women, black children, black queer, black men, black trans and black gender nonconforming folks."
Costello was interviewing Goggans in response to a video posted by former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in which he said removing guns from the street is critical in helping solve black-on-black crime.
"It's important to talk about the myth of black-on-black crime as just that — a myth," Goggans said. He went on to say the Black Lives Matter movement is focusing on "intercommunity crime" but more importantly on "state-sanctioned violence" — "not just a few white cops killing a few unarmed black men."
Now that the community organizer has pinpointed the culprit, the "systems," they just need to be rounded up, tried and convicted. That should fix it.