Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Too much caution

The Star-Tribune had a story yesterday about a document circulated at the University of Minnesota regarding Holiday parties. Among other things, the document claimed that the colors red and green (or silver) and images of Santa were "not appropriate" for gatherings there.

That's a stretch. And it makes me sad that it was probably lawyers who came up with this. Sigh.

Am I wrong? Is this good advice?

The "yule tree" predates Christian influence! Calling it a Christmas tree may be an issue. I do not think most people think of red and green as particularly Christian, nor are many people aware of the blue/white or silver having religious significance. The celebration of the solstice was a pagan religious event.

I believe it is a bit overboard, but the spirit of the memo is in the right place, just a bit over done. BTW, most people under 30 now consider Christmas a secular holiday, not a religious one.
Here at the M Health Ambulatory Surgery Center on the campus of the U of MN we have embraced the principles of the document. Our hallways are only adorned with an assortment of the following: images of Belsnickel, cherubs, poinsettias, the North Star, Fidget spinners, a diorama of the opening scene from Life of Brian, brown-paper packages tied up with string, an 8-branched candelabrum, chimes, pidgeons, and Wild jerseys
Because nothing says Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa like pink and purple decorations. I am all for celebrating Solstice which we did this year with 3000 people at a lantern walk. Life affirming.
In the words of Charlie Brown, "Good Grief!"
It appears that gift bags made the cut.

The memo represents most of what is wrong about our current cultural bias against diversity. We speak of the value of diversity in people and opinions, and yet we try to "celebrate" that by pretending we are all neutral and the same. The way to honor and celebrate a diverse culture is to openly acknowledge and respect the differences, seek to understand different people and ideas, and disagree or question when necessary, in agreeable ways.

We are miles from that in our current climate, while we pretend we value diversity.

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