Monday, May 16, 2005

Marquette: “Human Dignity” For A Tiny Few

When the University announced it was going to ban “Warriors” as an athletic nickname, it made two claims as to why this was necessary. As the official news release claims:
The Board of Trustees voted not to reinstate the Warriors athletics nickname stating that as a Catholic, Jesuit university, it would hold itself to the highest possible standards of its mission, which include recognizing and appreciating the dignity of every person.
So using “Warriors” fails to show respect for “the dignity of every person” and fails to meet the University’s “highest possible standards of its mission.”

If this is true, there are a lot of very derelict people around.

For example, even the biased poll that the University did showed that majorities of all the “stakeholder” groups liked “Warriors.” According to the University:
92% of alumni said they identify with the Marquette Warriors.

62% of students said that they identify with the Marquette Warriors. 19% were neutral or did not answer, and another 19% did not identify with the Marquette Warriors.

Among faculty and staff, opinions were more closely divided: 55% of the faculty did identify, 33% did not, and 12% were either neutral or did not answer.
Thus it seems we have an overwhelming majority of alumni favoring “Warriors,” a lopsided majority of students, and even a clear majority of the (generally left-leaning) faculty.

Alumni

For Wild, it ought to be a huge embarrassment that so many alumni and students favor “Warriors.” Here is a nickname that is inconsistent with “human dignity” and with the “University mission,” and it’s hugely popular.

Marquette truly did a terrible job of educating these people.

We wonder whether the University will offer to give all these alumni their tuition money back – with interest – since they were so obviously poorly educated at Marquette.

Of course, they are certainly in synch with the University’s “mission” when they write large checks to the school. But then when they want “Warriors” as a nickname, they turn into a bunch of ignorant rednecks.

Much the same analysis holds for students and faculty. Are all current Marquette students going to get an e-mail advising them to transfer to another school – one where they will learn the true meaning of “human dignity?”

All Those Dumb Indians

Not only do clear majorities of Marquette’s “stakeholders” favor Warriors, a clear majority of American Indians nationwide sees nothing wrong with Indian nicknames and mascots.

(We will leave aside for a moment the fact that “Warriors” isn’t necessarily an Indian nickname to be accompanied by an Indian mascot.)

A Sports Illustrated poll found that over 80 percent of American Indians opposes changing Indian team nicknames. A University of Pennsylvania poll found that 90 percent of Indians nationwide don’t object to “Redskins” as a team name.

The Florida Seminoles have made it clear that they fully approve Florida State’s teams being called “Seminoles” and students at Penbroke State University in North Carolina (a former Indian school with a large Indian presence) insist they want to be called “Braves.”

What are we to make of all this? Simple. All these Indians are dumb. The tiny minority of Indians who tell politically correct whites what they want to hear are the smart ones.

Let’s just ask a simple question here: which is more demeaning to Indians, having an Indian team name and mascot, or saying that 80+ percent of them are too stupid to know they are being denigrated?

Marquette has done the latter.

Of course, a majority can be wrong. If majority opinion is on one side, and the evidence is on the other, go with the evidence.

But the problem here is that Marquette has presented no evidence that there is anything offensive about “Warriors.” They have simply claimed that Indians are “offended” by it. In other words, they have appealed to the subjective opinions of a group. And they haven’t even told the truth about what the opinions of the whole group are.

Further, the majority of Marquette “stakeholders” aren’t being accused of a random error. They are being accused of being, at best, callous clods, and at worst racists. Marquette isn’t merely claiming they are wrong, but that they lack respect for “the dignity of every person.”

What we have here is an Administration that thinks that they and a tiny minority of Indians have the sound moral judgment. Thus they have to impose their view on everybody else. Those who disagree are stupid, or insensitive louts or too prejudiced to be allowed any say-so.

But not too prejudiced to be allowed to send money.

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