- - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Federal bureaucrats are playing favorites again.

Protecting people against assault, rape and robbery makes sense.

But today’s government bureaucrats also regulate to protect the masses from getting their feelings hurt. Or at least some of them, selectively. That’s the only explanation for why bureaucrats are saying no to the term “Redskins” while we Transylvanians remain fair game for disparagement.

I am — by blood — half-Transylvanian. Seriously. My father’s father was from the village of Magyaros and my father’s mother from Keresztur, both in Transylvania. When they were born, it was part of Hungary and it is now part of Romania.

So imagine my inner turmoil and suffering when I see movies and TV shows that depict my ancestral homeland as a place of crazed pitchfork-wielding mobs, blood-sucking counts who turn into bats, ghoulish monsters assembled from cadavers, and men who morph into wolves. Only rarely do they turn out to have special talents, dancing like Michael Jackson did in “Thriller.” Usually my heritage is shown as one of horror: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman.

We Transylvanians are sensitive, so why don’t our feelings get special government protection like the Patent and Trademark Office granted to those who protested the Washington Redskins’ trademark? Are we not fully human? If you prick us, do we not bleed? And do you actually believe that we like blood?

Why has there been no government action against movies like “Hotel Transylvania,” “Transylvania 6-5000,” or “Transylvania Twist”? Or the dozens and dozens of Dracula movies? Or the spoofs of my birthright in flicks like “Dracula: Dead and Loving It?” Or “Vampire Academy?” Were Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi or Leslie Nielsen ever ostracized? No, of course not.

Why hasn’t HBO been boycotted and required to disgorge its windfall profits from “TruBlood?”

We hear rantings about the supposedly obscene wealth of the Koch brothers, yet the “Twilight Saga” movies have earned over $1.3 billion at the box office. Who will drive a stake through the heart of that franchise?

If some sunshine were cast on these vampire movies, maybe they would disappear. Where are the congressional hearings? The picket lines? Why isn’t there a petition on the White House website? And why haven’t Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow rushed to our rescue on MSNBC? I’d even settle for Al Sharpton.

Instead, if you watch one of these movies that disparage us Transylvanians, you see the protective hand of federal regulation, complete with the logo of the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning, something like: “WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal, yada, yada, punishable by 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

Technically, copyrights involve the Library of Congress, not the Patent and Trademark Office, but it’s the same federal government that is protecting one group, the anti-Redskins, but not my people.

Modern times and political correctness have banished, or at least punished, those who slur or stereotype other groups or ethnicities, but not in my case. I feel discriminated against.

There’s one possible answer: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Since our government disapproves of “Redskins” but is OK with stereotyping Transylvanians, perhaps it might approve renaming the football team as the Washington Vampires? This town has sucked plenty of blood out of America’s taxpayers and the new name would merely acknowledge that fact.

On the other hand, if certain people would give up being thin-skinned about the Redskins, I’ll stop being thin-skinned about being Transylvanian. Besides, it’s a good ancestry — one that I can really sink my teeth into.

Ernest Istook is a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma. Listen to his daily talk show at www.kzlsam.com, noon to 3 p.m. ET, and sign up for his free email newsletter eepurl.com/JPojD.

• Ernest Istook can be reached at ejistook@gmail.com.

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