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Ladies and Gentlemen….

Ladies and Gentlemen….

After the leading candidate for superintendent of Easthampton Public Schools in Massachusetts claimed he lost his job offer for using the word “ladies” in an email to two of the women, he said he was “shocked” because he “grew up in a time when ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ was a sign of respect.” (Boston Globe)

The school board felt this was a “microagression” which implied he was insensitive to equity and inclusion in a school system. “Diversity and inclusion experts” were interviewed who said “It was better to avoid using the term.” (Who the hell qualifies as a “diversity and inclusion” expert? What does that mean? You determine who’s “in” or “out”?) Didn’t this man suffer a “micro aggression” himself, losing a job over a common noun?

Some people, defending the candidate, ralied outside of school offices to protest this nonsense.

I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a mass withdrawal of kids from the schools by their parents. Are these narrow, biased, holier-than-thou minds the ones you want directing your kids’ education?

In the 1930s a priest, Father Charles E. Coughlin, was virulently pro-fascist and anti-Semetic on his radio shows. In the 1950s, Senator Joe McCarthy was condemning people as Communists left and right and having them arrested and/or blacklisted, ruining careers. In the 1960s, about 24% of southern school districts still had not complied with anti-segregation laws.

And a hundred years from now the sociologists of the day will be scratching their heads wondering about anyone in our times claiming offense at the drop of a hat (or a pronoun).

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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