Friday, February 16, 2007

Bah Bye Chief

They are finally going to retire Chief Illiniwek. The long dark nightmare is finally over, pending a ridiculous lawsuit from students who portray the Chief who claim their first amendment rights are being violated. If they win, I look forward to donning a Pope costume so I can dance around at football games too, as would be my constitutional right.

It looks like there will be a lot less honoring of American Indians in this town in the future, which I'm pretty sure most American Indians will be quite relieved about.


Fingtree said...

They say; "When one door closes, another opens". Not sure who "they" are, but this does provide an opportunity for a not so opportune state (Indiana) to gain a mascot.
Indiana "Hoosier's"; Even Indiana fans don't know for sure what a "Hoosier" is, hence no mascot.
What could be more Indian than Indian-a? So the Chief part is relevant. The racist connotation would not be an issue because the headquarters of the KKK are in Indiana, the mentality of the majority of "Hoosier" fans, especially now that Mike Davis is gone (he was just to black), wouldn't register that something could be offensive (remember Bobby Knight) it goes right over their loyal inconsiderable heads.
Their new head coach is Native American; Kelvin Sampson. It's the perfect fit! Chief Hoosierwek~ It has a ring!

Dan S said...

Chief Hoosierwek - that's great!

Maybe a more appropriate Hoosier mascot would be Chief Bobbywek. We could get a student to dress up like Bobby Knight to dance and throw chairs and yell at people during halftime, but in an honorable, respectful way.

dw said...

This column pretty much sums it up.


Dan S said...

"The Fighting Wheat Thresher Accident Victims" now has my vote for new mascot.

snarkbutt said...

It's really interesting to read the letters to the editor in the local paper. Eighty percent are pro-Chief (as is the paper itself) and they use words like "do-gooders" to describe the anti-Chief movement. This not only shows their age, but their moral compass as well. Does that mean that pro-Chiefers are "do-badders?"

There was a huge picture of the kid who plays the current Chief on the front page. He's sitting at home with Indian caricatures all around him (an Indian lamp, a wall hanging, etc.) The headline says how "sad" he is.

He may even have to give up his stuffed Sambo doll and Squanto lawn jockeys. I really feel for him. It's so unfair when beaurocratic "do-gooders" take away your life's work. I can't imagine any precedence for this kind of thing.

Fingtree said...

I like the Chief Bobbywek idea, as long as it would be honorable and respectful :) Perhaps he could have a mini-token Mike Davis come out of an Uncle Tom's cabin at mid-court and be sold to the opposing team's lowest bidder.

Dan S said...

snark, you should write a letter to the editor - the "do-badder" response is a good line. Besides, I hear there has been a dearth of Schreiber letters to the editor lately, so you need to continue the fine tradition.

Dan S said...

Fingtree, I think you are onto something - The Fighting Slaves! Why didn't we think of this before? What better way to honor and respect the contributions of African Americans than to dress up white frat boys as slaves and have them escapte the stadium via a simulated underground railroad during halftime of sporting events?

Anonymous said...

My favorite columnist, King Kaufman, wrote about this today:

Read the letters at the bottom of the page. Many make some good points. One person even mentioned that, in the 80s, Illinois fans used to boo and jeer at the Chief. It was only when the protests started that he become a "sacred" and "respectful" symbol.

Brownie said...

I seem to remember Dan, that the Illini tribe no longer exists. (I will base the rest of my comments on this assumption, but if I'm wrong about this let me know.)

So, like the rest of the political correctness law enforcers, you, with your moral authority badge, stand by and watch in moral disgust as a college guy in a costume and makeup dances around during a sporting event to fire up the crowd, while all you can do is condemn how belittling his behavior is IF the Illini do not exist, who are they offending? You and your PC Fraternal Order of Police?

Is it, or rather now, was it, such a bad thing to keep alive the memory of an extinct people? Surely there are better ways, but it's not going to offend them, they're gone, so why does it offend you?

I might ask (with my Irish blood) why you do not make such a big deal about the Notre Dame mascot? Not all Irish are red-haired, short and wear green school boy costumes and run around like crazed leprechans. I'm not offeneded by him, though I'm part Irish, because I'm clever enough to figure out that it's just a MASCOT, THAT'S ALL. No Harm, No Foul.

The PC Police need to lighten up or ban all mascots of every kind. Unfortunely, I don't think that the PCPolice could detect the irony in that statement and they'll end up doing the latter before ever considering the former.

Finally, Trully, for the first time in a very long time: P.O.'ed

Dan S said...

Brownie, less than
one hour ago
you argued that there is no such thing as moral authority. If that's the case, why are you so indignant?

And ranting about "political correctness" is just a way to avoid real arguments.

The remnants of the Illini tribe are now part of the Peoria tribe, which are on record as being against Chief Illiniwek. But that doesn't really matter. Dressing up a white frat guy to dance around at football games in a mockery of a sacred religious ritual is not honorably trying to keep alive the name of a dead tribe. It is ministrel show. If they want to honor american indians, they can have a lecture during the halftime of games to teach everyone about the history and modern circumstances of indian tribes. Do you know why they don't do that? Because they are not interested in honor, they are interested in entertainment.

By the way, I know exactly one Irish person (who lives in Ireland). He attended a Notre Dame football game, and was, in fact, offended by their mascot, as it was a caricature of being Irish.

What your argument boils down to is that because you are not offended that a once proud civilization has been reduced to being a sports mascot, that no one else in the world has a right to be offended either.

Fingtree said...

Dan S.; I wasn't aware that you were/are an official PC Policeman. You must keep that moral authority badge in your wallet. I guess I didn't read into your original post that you were that serious on this. Then again I've never been one to contemptuously one up somebody just for the sake of being contentious. I'm not sure which is worse; being Irish, Indian or a PC Fraternal Order Policeman. I have friends that are all of the above. I like the Policeman the least, sorry Dan

snarkbutt said...

Politically correct is what some people call you if they don't like it when you ask them to have some respect for other people.

--King Kaufman

If the phrase had been around at the time, the "PC Police" is exactly what the people turning the fire hoses on the black people in the 60s would have called those who wanted to end segregation.

Brownie, you really should educate yourself on this issue. It's about more than just keeping "the memory of an extinct people" alive. They're very much alive, and deeply offended.

If you followed the issue at all, you would know that Chief supporters are VERY CAREFUL to NEVER, EVER refer to the Chief as a "mascot." He's a "symbol." Why? Because they know that labeling him a mascot is offensive.

Fingtree said...

I seem to remember that being an Iraqi at one time (1991,92) was not a good thing here in America. I worked with an Iraqi engineer at the company I was employed with at the time of the first Iraq war. He went from home and to work, that was it, because he was scared. He had his American wife go do the runnin's for him. Now it's OK to be Iraqi. It's been OK enough for us to now spend our American tax dollars recklessly to the sum of 8 or 9 billion dollars a month there.
The point being; mabye if they (Iraqi's) exterminate themselves with our help of course, to the point of extinction. We could then remember them by using their exterminated culture for symbol's, offensive mascot's and slanderous jokes for our own exultant ego's. Without sounding to un-patriotic, I hope we win this war (I think it's still a war?) for that reason.
Wasn't it the Irish that eradicated the Illini tribe?

brownie said...

Liberals love diversity.

As long as it's not diversity of thought.

Dan S said...

Valuing diversity does not translate to an inability to take a stand on moral issues. It is considering all sides, facts, and data, and then taking an informed stand with integrity.

Liberals will fail at this a lot of the time, but they are generally a lot better at it than conservatives, who generally don't seem to even value diversity. This may seem like stereotyping, but the only people I've ever heard criticizing diversity are self-described conservatives.