Critics have noticed that nobody is responsible for anything anymore,
since almost everyone is a victim. Here are the top 10 victim stories
CHILDREN OF WITCHES ARE VICTIMIZED BY HALLOWEEN. Coming to class
dressed as a witch on Halloween is a violation of "equitable schools
policies," according to the Toronto district school board. The board
said it feared "traumatic shock" if children treat "the Christian
sexist demonization of pagan religious beliefs as 'fun.'"
BRITISH MUSLIMS ARE VICTIMIZED BY PIGLET AND PIGGY BANKS. Novelty
pig calendars, toys, and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the
Pooh and Piglet have been banned in the benefits department at Dudley
Council, West Midlands, out of deference to Muslim sensibilities.
STUDENTS ARE VICTIMIZED BY THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LOW WEEKEND PRICES
IN BARS. Pressured by the University of Wisconsin and a federal
campaign against binge drinking, 24 bars near the Madison campus
agreed to end cut-rate weekend prices. Three students and a Minneapolis
law firm failed to convince a Wisconsin circuit judge that this
represented conspiracy and price-fixing. But they are suing again
in federal court. Legal costs to the bar owners so far: $250,000.
HIT-AND-RUN VICTIM OFFENDS POLICE. A woman struck by a car while
standing on a sidewalk in northern England ran afoul of police when
she described the errant driver as "fat." "I was given a frosty
look and told ... I could have said lardy, porky or podgy," said
Mary Magilton, 54. "I don't think she was severely reprimanded,"
said a police spokesman, citing a firm policy of "appropriate language"
in police reports.
FIRED CBS EMPLOYEE IS VICTIMIZED BY VIACOM, CBS, VICIOUS BLOGGERS,
THE PANEL THAT INVESTIGATED HER, AND A "MCCARTHYITE" PANEL MEMBER
WHO ASKED IF SHE IS A LIBERAL. Mary Mapes complained last week that
people were saying mean things about her and the discredited "60
Minutes II" segment she produced about President Bush's military
service. She felt "extremely battered" by "having my head kicked
around a soccer stadium by much of the western world." No apology,
though. For unknown reasons, Mapes' new book is titled "Truth and
Duty" rather than "I Messed Up Big Time and I'm Sorry."
ATHEISTS ARE VICTIMIZED BY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. "The McCarthy era is
the last time this climate existed," said beleaguered California
atheist Stuart Bechman. The Los Angeles Times said nonbelievers
feel stress when a major-leaguer points skyward after a hit or when
an actor thanks God after winning an Oscar. Some join atheist groups
anonymously to avoid harassment. Still, atheist organizations are
lobbying in Washington and hope to have at least one presidential
candidate court their votes in 2008. Thank God.
REDHEADS ARE VICTIMIZED BY CRUEL JOKES AND SLURS. New Zealanders
with red or ginger hair have organized against hair-color bigotry,
founding groups such as the Ginger Revolution and Redheads United.
Casual slurs like "gingernuts" cause a lot of hurt, so carrot-topped
liberationists want to see a "Love Your Ginger Neighbor" campaign
and perhaps a "Be Kind to Gingas Week." Who knows? Maybe even a
Redheaded History Month. Chris Irwin, who filed an official complaint
last year against a TV ad that made fun of redheads, says red hair
color is "part of who I am, and I'm proud of it -- as hard as that
is in today's society."
ANTI-HOOKER PREJUDICE FOUGHT IN EUROPE. "Sex workers," the current
euphemism for prostitutes, strippers and lap-dancers, are organizing
to end discrimination against their profession. Camille Cabral spoke
in Brussels on behalf of the International Committee on the Rights
of Sex Workers in Europe. Wearing pink stickers reading "Sluts Unite"
and "Whore Power," she called for an end to the stigma associated
with paid sexual service.
NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL-BUS FAILURE WAS BUSH'S FAULT --MAYBE CLINTON'S
TOO. Why didn't the city use all those empty buses to drive poor
people to safety as Hurricane Katrina approached? Louisiana Sen.
Mary Landrieu explained on Fox News: "Mayor Nagin and most mayors
in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on
a sunny day, let alone getting them out of the city in front of
a hurricane ... it's because this administration and administrations
before them do not understand the difficulties ... In other words,
(the Bush) administration did not believe in mass transit."
PUBLIC VICTIMIZED BY KITCHEN-UTENSIL VIOLENCE. Doctors writing in
the British Medical Journal called for a ban on the sale
of long, pointed kitchen knives. Some say the knives are not necessary
in food preparation and cited 10 chefs who agreed. Peter Hamm of
the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is unimpressed. "Can
sharp-stick control be far behind?" he asked.