In a bold, politically charged move that may incite protests and charges of discrimination, Huntington Beach plans to host its annual Easter Hunt on Saturday.
That's right, Easter Hunt. Not Spring Hunt or Community Hunt or any other term that prudently avoids slighting any segment of the population. Easter is on the calendar this weekend, and at the risk of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, it's back in Surf City as well.
Without delving too far into my political or religious beliefs, I'll confess that I'm a pretty liberal fellow. I'd be happy to see that Confederate flag removed from the South Carolina capitol. I don't credit Columbus with discovering America. I always get annoyed when I see a female head of a commission with a nameplate that reads "chairman."
Still, even I have my limit with political correctness. And I reached that limit again when a Facebook friend posted an article about a Seattle school that officially banned the term "Easter egg."
According to the article on MyNorthwest.com, the school decreed that staff instead refer to the holiday treats as "spring spheres." I've heard ridiculous PC phrases before, but never one that's harder to say three times fast. Plus, last I checked, an egg is an oval, not a sphere.
The article doesn't specify the school, and a spokeswoman for Seattle Public Schools was later quoted saying she hadn't heard about the incident. Still, there appears to be a trend of swapping "Easter" for "spring." The Seattle Parks and Recreation department uses "Spring Egg Hunt" on its website, while news outlets have reported flaps over local governments in Ohio and Maryland choosing the secular term.
So will Huntington Beach, which has hosted the Easter Hunt for 20 years in partnership with the Kiwanis Club, abandon tradition any time soon?
Probably not, according to Kristin Martinez, the recreation supervisor who is overseeing this year's event.
"It's never been brought to our attention," she said. "We've never gotten any feedback from our community about changing the name. Obviously, I want to be respectful to the community, so if it was an issue, we'd address it."
That sounds like a wise position to me. After decades of Easter Bunny merchandise, I think the fourth Sunday in April has a secular enough meaning to most people. And if the city feels the urge to change the event's title, perhaps it can opt for Holiday Hunt — alliteration always sounds catchy.
Well, "spring spheres" aside, of course.
City Editor MICHAEL MILLER can be reached at (714) 966-4617 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.