In the latest example of college campus PC-insanity, students signed a petition calling on radio stations to ban the playing of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" because it was "insulting to people of color" and supported "white supremacy."
The petition was actually the brain child of MRCTV's Dan Joseph, who "covers protest rallies, gets people to sign outrageous petitions, interviews newsmakers and tries to get a sense of what's on the minds of the American people when it comes to the big issues of the day."
So, the petition was designed to mock and expose the current wave of "micro-aggression" madness that has gripped many of our campuses.
The reality is that a number of students did sign the petition, which is no surprise considering that students have recently protested the alleged lack of cultural sensitivity in the serving of ethnic foods on their campuses, since the meals were not authentically prepared.
As reported by Katie Rogers in the New York Times, "The culinary culprits included a soggy, pulled-pork-and-coleslaw sandwich that tried to pass itself off as a traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich; a Chinese General Tso's chicken dish made with steamed instead of fried poultry; and some poorly prepared Japanese sushi."
Thankfully, Oberlin College was duly repentant and is attempting to make things right (this is not a spoof; the quotes that follow are real): "Michele Gross, Oberlin's director of dining services, said in a statement on Monday that 'in our efforts to provide a vibrant menu, we recently fell short in the execution of several dishes in a manner that was culturally insensitive.'
"She added: 'We have met with students to discuss their concerns and hope to continue this dialogue.'"
In response, Fredrik deBoer, an academic, wrote on Twitter, "When you're defending the cultural authenticity of GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN, you're a living Portlandia sketch." (As the Times explained, this was "a reference to the IFC show that satirizes Oregon hipsters.")
So, it turns out that the "Ban White Christmas" petition was not so far from reality after all, while the responses to it were quite real indeed.
In that same spirit, then, I propose that we get holistic in our war against insensitive terminology.
After all, if dreaming about a White Christmas is racist — I always thought it referred to the color of the snow, not the color of people's skin! — then how about terms like:
Blackout — meaning "a failure of electrical power supply" or "a suppression of information, especially one imposed on the media by government." Note carefully the racial presuppositions here. Blackouts are bad, hence black. If this was not another hidden example of white supremacy, not to mention white privilege, why not call these whiteouts?
Black holes — one of the darkest discoveries of modern science, used colloquially to speak of "a place where people or things, especially money, disappear without trace." There's the bigotry and bias once again. These holes are wholly negative, hence black. Why not call them white holes? Why not yellow holes? (My apologies; I just offended my Asian readers.)
Black Friday — this day of frenzied, pre-Christmas, post-Thanksgiving buying is the very image of American greed and carnality. And so, even though the great majority of the buyers are white, it is called Black Friday. Oh, you never saw that before?
It appears to me that we'll even have to start censoring the Bible, since verses like Isaiah 1:18 smack of white supremacy: "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."
How utterly racist!
The same can be said for the heavenly pictures from the Book of Revelation where God's people will one day be clothed in "white garments" (Revelation 3:4-5, 18; 6:11; 7:9, 13-14; 19:14).
Worse still, that same book says that Jesus will return riding a white horse (19:11) and that God himself will judge the world sitting on a — gasp! — great white throne (20:11).
No wonder the KKK loves the Bible!
Putting all sarcasm aside, and absolutely affirming the need to judge people by the quality of their character and not the color of their skin (using Dr. King's famous dictum), you can fight off the latest example of campus "micro-aggression" if you like. For my part, I'll keeping dreaming about a white Christmas.
Even though it's never been a major holiday to me, there's something special about a beautiful blanket of snow at this time of the year, and no amount of PC-insanity is going to take that away.