ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, February 16, 2007

The University of Illinois TBD

From today's St Louis piece of trash Post-Dispatch:

U. of Illinois bars Indian symbol
By David Mercer
Friday, Feb. 16 2007

URBANA, Ill. (AP) -- The University of Illinois will drop its 81-year-old
American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek, following the last men's basketball
home game of the season on Wednesday, officials said.

The move makes the school eligible to host postseason NCAA championship

The NCAA in 2005 deemed Illiniwek -- portrayed by buckskin-clad students who dance at home football and basketball games and other athletic events -- an offensive use of American Indian imagery and barred the university from hosting postseason events.

American Indian groups and others have complained for years that the mascot, used since 1926, is demeaning. Supporters of the mascot say it honors the contributions of American Indians to Illinois.

Illinois still will be able to use the name Illini because it's short for Illinois and the school can use the term Fighting Illini, because it's considered a reference to the team's competitive spirit, school officials said.

It is unclear if the school will get a new mascot.

HOLD IT!!! What does Illinois stand for? Wikipedia to the rescue:
The state is named for the Illinois River which was named by French explorers after the indigenous Illiniwek people, a consortium of Algonquian tribes that thrived in the area.

So, you see... Illinois is actually a French white European bastardization of an actual Native American name.

I demand that we rename the entire state! And Barack Obama should denounce his state's racially insensitive past and current use of the term Illinois.

Perhaps it could be known as the State of No Topology. Or the great State of Flatness.

Of course, the Native Americans are not pissed about Illiniwek... it's only a handful of Leftists who object.

From Wikipedia again:
In the past few years, opinion polls on the subject have not been much help in defining Native American opinion on the subject. In 2002, a Peter Harris Research Group poll of those who declared Native American ethnicity on a U.S. census showed that 81% of Native Americans support the use of Indian nicknames in high school and college sports, and 83% of Native Americans support the use of Indian mascots and symbols in professional sports. However, the methods and results of this poll have been disputed. [6] A separate poll conducted by the Native-run newspaper Indian Country Today in 2001 reported that 81 percent of those polled "indicated use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots are predominantly offensive and deeply disparaging to Native Americans."

A non-binding student referendum on Chief Illiniwek was conducted in March 2004. [7] Of the approximately one third of the student body who cast ballots, 69 percent of the voters favored retention of the Chief.

Illinois is the one school that could be considered to have reverence for their mascot... he is not seen during the game, only at half-time in a very solemn ceremony. He is not a caricature of a Native American - it's a traditional costume and dance. Compare Illiniwek's representation to the mascot of the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves, or the Washington Redskins and you'll see what I mean.

No doubt that Illinois will follow suit with what their counterparts at Bradley (in Peoria, Illinois) did - invite people to suggest a new mascot. Here are the finalists for Bradley:
Bradley Athletics Mascot Suggestions: Braveheart, Clock, Firefighter, Gargoyle, Military Figure, Squirrel, Superhero or no mascot.

Go Bradley Clocks!!!!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (3)
Publia said...

In Illinois we grieve the loss of the Indian fancy-dancing Chief Illiniwek. Too many will not rest until the memories of Illinois native people are wiped out forever.

St Wendeler said...

Even though I'm a fan of the Missouri Tigers, I'm sad to see the Chief meet his demise.

Brian said...


I predict a lot of chief symbols springing up all over campus.