Changing Shortbus name is another extreme in society

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

It’s a wonder that we even have a sufficient number of acceptable words to support a language, referring to the June 14th article, &uot;Band changes name for city.&uot; I am amazed at how many words are considered &uot;offensive,&uot; especially when an explanation is required to convince others that the word should be considered offensive.

It is a shame that some people may use the words ‘short buses’ in a derogatory manner referring to vehicles used for transport of students and adults with disabilities. However, those same words are used for various other expressions. I regard the name &uot;Special Ed and the Shortbus&uot; as a compliment and appreciation for those with disabilities. Many bands, music titles, businesses and other commodities use words that may be offensive to someone or group of people. For example, &uot;The Drifters&uot; is one of my favorite bands. The word ‘drifter’ has been used to describe homeless individuals.

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Should the band change their name? People who see a negative connotation in a word without taking in consideration the totality of the context surrounding the use of that word have a deeper underlying psychological problem and usually seek to push their negative interpretation on the rest of society. It is particularly troubling when a School Board member advocates this behavior. When is enough, enough?

I applaud the band for agreeing to change their name to ease any tensions between the city and the School Board, although it was unnecessary. Unfortunately, I fear the new name &uot;Muskrat Family BBQ&uot;, may now bring down the wrath of P.E.T.A. upon the city. Let us hope not!

Richard Hurd