Friday, January 25, 2008

Protesting too much

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) makes a point that I want to expand. He links to a story about banning the classic childhood tale of the Three Little Pigs. The people who want to ban it consider that it is potentially offensive to Muslims. (Apparently they believe the mere mention of pigs sets off jihad.) Mr. Reynolds' remark:

What's amazing is how people are willing to make fools of themselves to avoid imaginary offense. Nobody worries that much about offending me.

Of course, nobody worries about offending him partly or mostly because he is a white male. But his point is still important. Negotiating the mine field between completely innocuous and obviously offensive is as difficult as ever, and I admire people who make the effort. But bending over backward to eliminate The Three Pigs (which is a completely different kind of story from, say, Little Black Sambo) strikes me as protesting a bit too much. Why do they have work so hard to prove they're not biased against Muslims? Do they secretly suspect that they are?

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