Opinion

Kentucky Fried Petition

You read it here in The Daily Caller.  A Lexington, Kentucky high school – still in the construction process – was all set to use a stallion as the symbol of their school mascot, the emblem that represents the school’s pride and adorns its sports team’s jerseys.

Then, thanks to an on-line petition, organized by a local self-appointed cultural police inspector named Diane Cahill, Frederick Douglass High School lost its stallion.  Cahill thought the stallion was too male-centric and the local school superintendent agreed.  As Cahill pleaded in her petition that garnered an underwhelming 214 names:

What message does this send to our daughters and granddaughters? Our sons and grandsons?” She demanded that “the name be changed to something more gender neutral and more indicative of Douglass’ brilliant mind, successful career and vision for equality and to send a message to all students that they are respected and valued.

Seems that Cahill forgot that Douglas, notwithstanding his brilliant mind and successful career, was not gender neutral either.

Now, think for a minute.  Why would a school in Kentucky want to embrace the symbolism of the stallion?  Horse racing maybe?  The Kentucky Derby?  The breeding of renowned prize-winning horses like Man of War?  Could be this has more to do with horse heritage than some imagined male sexual dominance.

No matter.  Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk caved under the overwhelming weight of this high-stakes pressure and within a day of unveiling the stallion, he had decided that “We want our new high school to be a source of unity and pride for our entire community and we thank all of those who have taken the time to reach out and engage in the conversation about this issue.”

OK, it’s just another example of how absurd political correctness has progressed in this country after eight years of a head schoolmaster like President Barack Obama beating us over the head with his social re-engineering in the military and gender-neutral bathrooms in the schools.  But if the last presidential election unleashed some populist forces that were sick of being told to ride in the back of the bus, the great unwashed are finally refusing to endure the cranks who read oppression into every statement and see male patriarchy in every image.  Two Lexington students have initiated a second petition to restore the stallion to Frederick Douglass.

As Drew Rodriguez and Bilal Chhadh put it in their petition:

We as Lexingtonians should take pride in our history and strive to commemorate it, not argue over trivial matters such as the gender of a mascot. We feel our society has become too sensitive to such matters as simple as a school mascot. The point of the Stallions was not to denounce women, but to honor the rich history of the land the school is being built upon.

Wow.  Sounds like a little bit of commonsense might be invading the political landscape.  Their petition has already exceeded 2100 responses, or 10 times as many as Cahill’s sorry attempt to be a community wet blanket.

The pair hasn’t declared victory over the school district yet.  But they have clearly won over hearts and minds of their community while expressing a frustration that is shared by millions of Americans who are sick of being threatened, chided and punished by the cultural commissars in this country who rule the media, academia and, increasingly, the business world.  They promote a brand of inclusiveness that is so absurdly constrained that it denies any differences at all.  They find offense in any language, institution or belief that does not reflexively renounce traditional values and advocate the deconstruction of societal norms.  They are weary of being informed that sexual orientation can mean anything you feel like doing and impatient with people who think your gender is something that shifts with the seasons or selected like the choices in a menu.

We may not live in a political dictatorship but the cultural environment is increasingly hostile to free speech and unconstrained thought.  It might take a little courage to stand up and resist the totalitarian consensus that demands we all talk the same hegemonic liberal discourse – or else you’ll lose your reputation, your job and maybe even your freedom.  But when two students stood up in Lexington, an entire community is beginning to stand with them.

Let’s hope it becomes a national trend.

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