KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (The Blaze/AP) — The University of Tennessee bookstore has quit selling packages of breath mints that satirize President Barack Obama after a state legislator complained
The box bears a picture of Obama and is labeled “disappoint-mints.” Officials pulled the product after Democratic state Rep. Joe Armstrong visited the bookstore and told the manager he found the mints offensive.
Armstrong told The Knoxville News Sentinel that UT uses federal and state funds and should be sensitive to what he called “politically specific products.”
The Knoxville legislator says he went to the bookstore after a UT student complained to him about the mints.
Bookstore director David Kent said the bookstore previously carried mints that satirized former President George W. Bush and said no offense was intended.
But Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic believes the University has done a disservice to those involved.
“This is the problem (well, one of the problems) with university life: The hypersensitivities of various constituencies — students and faculty, mainly — are indulged to an unconscionable degree,” he writes. “The student who lodged the original complaint should have been told to get over himself. That would have prepared him for life outside the cocoon.”