08/08/2005: "Offensive College Mascot"
The NCAA recently banned offensive mascots, etc, from NCAA post season tournaments. (That's an oversimplification; follow the link for details.) Most read that to mean the end of Indian mascots.
I do have some Indian blood in me; enough to give me a nice tan in the summer. My father had twice as much Indian blood as me; when he grew up, he knew that "No dogs or Indians" signs applied to him and his family. So while I don't know enough Indian culture to run a casino, I do have empathy for real Americans. I do not like to see them (us?) further abused.
If the Illini Nation wishes that Illinois change their mascot, fine, good bye "Chief". But I object to hearing from a bunch of pigmentally impaired do gooders that claim to speak for the Illini. At the same time, I would prefer that the University do a better job of exalting the Illini. Why should one be proud to be an Illini? Because they're ducky dancers?
But if I had to pick an offensive mascot, it would not be an American (um, "Indian") mascot. It would be Oklahoma's Sooners. Some background.
In 1838, the Cherokees were forced from the Southeast United States on the Trail of Tears. Other tribes joined the Cherokee in the Indian Territory. In forcing natives East, those with forked tongues promised to let Indians stay in their new lands forever.
Naturally, as white folks moved West, they decided to steal those Indian lands too. White folks lined up on the Oklahoma border on April, 22, 1989, for their chance to "legally" steal Indian lands. But they weren't the first White folks to steal Oklahome from they previously displaced Indians. Other White filks corssed into Oklahoma early and laid claim to land there. They got there sooner. Thus, they were called Soonres. Sooners, you see, are double criminals; they cheated white people in their efforts to steal Indian lands.
To have a major college honor these criminals is truly offensive.