This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

And now we go deeper into the linguistic gymnastics which are required to avoid being called a racist. 

Having covered Black Friday, Black Hole, Providence Plantations, Rejigger, Gobbledygook, and “No Asians,” among other words and phrases, we will now move on to rhyme.

The subject tonight is the 200+ year old English nursery rhyme, Baa Baa Black Sheep:

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

The rhyme has nothing to do with human races.  The 1744 reference to “black sheep” actually appears to be a reference to black sheep.  The claim that the rhyme contains a reference to slavery is disputed by someone who has studied the subject.

But that is not good enough for some school administrators in Australia, who are so politically correct that they are teaching school children to sing “Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep“:

“BLACK sheep are on the endangered species list as some children in north Queensland learn to sing Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep.

The English nursery rhyme may have survived for 200-plus years but political correctness could finally put it out to pasture.

Some schools in Britain have banned the song for being racist, but Pelicans Innisfail Child Care allows children to sing about black sheep or rainbow sheep.

Director Pam McLaughlin said some teachers sang the changed lyrics, and some children already knew the changes….

Ms McLaughlin said she thought changing the lyrics was a bit confusing for children. “You can get a black sheep but you can’t get a rainbow sheep.””

Apparently the controversy is not new.  There have been repeated attempts  in Britain to stop having school children recite the rhyme. 
There are Facebook pages for both  Baa Black Sheep and Rainbow Sheep devoted to debating the topic, in case you want your voice heard on the subject (but not until you join my Facebook page!).

Just don’t drink any black coffee while commenting, or you will be in big trouble.

And be sure to put a rainbow cat bumper sticker on your car so that you are not mistaken for one of those racist Tea Party supporters (via reader PapaTodd):

You have to be proactive on these matters, because gossip spreads like, well, you know.

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