Tuesday, May 17, 2005
It Is Only A Matter Of Time - We Will Miss The Chief
The NCAA may ban all indian nicknames for its member schools. Being a University of Illinois alum I have heard more than my fair share of this dispute from both sides. I was in school there when this whole "ban the chief" movement started. My opinion then is the same as it is now - keep the Chief. But the politically correct folks are going to win eventually. What a bunch of softies we have become.
The politically correct movement in the United States has turned us into a bunch of weenies. Locally here in Madison they are trying to change the name of a part of Lake Monona called Squaw Bay into something much less colorful. Apparently squaw is indian for a part of the female reproductive anatomy. Funny, if it were not pointed out to me I would have forever thought that squaw was just an indian word for female. Think about that for a moment.
Anyway, where is all of the outrage over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish? For gods sake they have a leprechaun running around on the field during the game - that is just about as racist and stereotypical as it gets. They were genocided just as well as the indians were if you look at the history of that island. And I can't find a record of all of the Irish killing themselves just like the American indians did although I am sure it happened (happens) in Northern Ireland over religion. You can even debate that the indians were genocided but that isn't what this post is about.
The bottom line is that there are virtually no indians left. Most have assimilated themselves into our society. Some are still stuck on the reservation. These are the facts.
Since there are hardly any indians around, whats to remind us of their culture, even their very existence other than sports team nicknames and a few burial grounds? If we don't have the Illini, Seminoles, Redskins and all the rest, how many reminders will I have that this culture actually existed here before us whiteys arrived? Zero. So you can see those who are offended by these nicknames are adopting the exact opposite strategy they need to to remind people of the culture and very existence of the indians. If you eliminate the nicknames, you eliminate this bit of history for all but the educated few that study now obscure events in history like the French-Indian War or the War of 1812 (one of my favorite topics) or the westward expansion of the US.
Why the guilt? Those who are politically correct seem to have a terrible guilt complex. Yes, the US Army killed some indians. Yes, Indians also killed each other. So what? It is history. Present day people and their grandparents share as much of the blame for the demise of the indians as they do for the fall of Rome. Which is to say, none. It happened, its over, get over it. Do kids who are born in Germany today share the blame for the Holocaust? Of course not. Should they know about it? Absolutely.