Haters gotta hate
Until Donald Trump was elected president, first ladies and children of presidents were generally off-limits for criticism by the media. That was especially true most recently with Michelle Obama and the Obamas' daughters.
However, all gloves appear to be off for first lady Melania Trump, Barron Trump, the couple's 12-year-old son, and all of Trump's grown children.
Recently, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel — whose ratings are the lowest among ABC, CBS and NBC late-night talkers — mocked the accent of the first lady, who is a native of Slovenia but speaks five languages.
He never apologized for such despicable behavior, and residents of the town, Sevinca, where she grew up are not amused.
"It's very hard to speak English," Helena Horjak, 24, told USA Today. "Melania's been in the U.S. so long and she still has some problems, but Jimmy Kimmel should come to Slovenia and see how hard it is to speak another language."
"It's just not fair," said Maya Kantuzar, a nurse. "Melania is trying to help everyone. She is doing a really good job for children."
Sevinca, a town of 5,000 people, celebrates its native daughter with menu items such as "First Lady Apple Pie" and "Melania Wine," and even offers a tour that includes her former nursery and middle school. Her childhood home is still owned by her parents.
Black like me
A white North Carolina Democratic U.S. House candidate says he is a member of the black community because he has, for example, "eaten at many a fish fry held by my 'brothers' and 'sisters,' 'aunts' and 'uncles'."
Gary Shipman made the statement in an email to the Raleigh News & Observer after an outreach event where he and other candidates were asked how they plan to get black voters excited by their candidacy and how they would raise diversity.
"I'm a member of the African-American community," he said, adding he doesn't worry about diversity. "I've been where you are. I've been in your communities."
When a female candidate answered the question at "Suit Up Wilmington Outreach" by saying she would go to black events in the community, Shipman said he didn't need an invitation because blacks already view him as one of them.
Later, to the News & Observer, he explained that he didn't really believe he was black but just was trying to say how embedded he was in the community.
Shipman previously said he wanted to run to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Holly Grange because it was "time for our priorities to shift back towards the things that our state and region have historically stood for."
Like going to fish fries, we guess he means.
Don't know much about history
In an effort to promote diversity and multiculturalism, many public schools have de-emphasized history, and with that has vanished education about events such as the Holocaust.
In a survey released last week on Holocaust Remembrance Day, only 41 percent of Americans knew what Auschwitz was, according to the Jewish advocacy group Claims Conference.
Further, only 39 percent of respondents knew former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was technically elected in a democratic campaign after he failed to attain power in a coup, and 45 percent of Americans — and 49 percent of millennials — couldn't name a single concentration camp.
The lack of knowledge, according to the Claims Conference, is due to a growing literacy deficiency in educational institutions, and especially with millennials.
"There are critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust," the group wrote, "and there is a broad-based consensus that schools must be responsible for providing comprehensive Holocaust education. And more than half of Americans believe that the Holocaust could happen again."
Four states have some form of legislation mandating a certain degree of education about the Holocaust in public schools, and 20 states have tried to introduce bills to do the same. However, Tennessee is not one of those states.
Just making it up
A group crusading across Pennsylvania college campuses recently demanded that Penn State University stop funding "hate groups" such as Turning Point USA and the Bull Moose Party. The Pennsylvania Power Network also delivered a petition to the school's president, urging him to defund conservative "hate groups" that have "attracted avowed white nationalists to campus," and not use "school and student activities funds ... to support student hate groups."
Well, there were a couple of problems with the demands. First, neither group receives direct financial support from the school, nor has requested it. Second, a spokeswoman for the school's Office of Communications said it would "support Constitutionally protected free speech" and an "open and civil exchange of ideas."
Beyond that, spokespersons for the groups were dumbfounded at the protester allegations, according to Campus Reform.
Group members "never spoke with ill intent towards minorities of any kind," the treasurer of the school's Turning Point USA said, "were shocked to hear [us called] a hate group" and "don't associate ourselves with any of those ideals."
"The claims are completely unfounded," the communications director for the university's Bull Moose Club said, "which is why they make no specific accusations, and they serve as excellent examples of how unreasonable and indecent college leftists really are."