Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Athletic Mascots — You Can’t Make the Politically Correct Crowd Happy

From Fox News “Tongue Tied,” the fact that the school board in Kelseyville, California wanted to be politically correct, and changed the name of the high school mascot from “Indians” to “Knights.”

Guess what happened?
A California school district’s decision to dump its Indian mascot in favor of a medieval knight is prompting howls of protest that the new mascot is insensitive to women and too warlike, according to the Lake County Record Bee.

The Kelseyville Unified School District formally ditched its high school’s 85-year-old Indian in favor of the Knight in March. Since then, however, people have written to the local paper complaining that the new mascot is, among other things, a “step backwards in women’s sports.”

“What will the illustrious female athletes of Kelseyville High School be called? Maidens? Ladies of the Knights? The Damsels?” writes one reader. “What kind of message are you sending your daughters by ignoring their participation and accomplishments, by omitting them from the school’s identity?”

Another complained that the district had “taken a prideful picture of a nonaggressive nature of a true American and replaced it with a picture of an aggressive French Knight . . . a slave owner who put people to death by the thousands for not being on the same page he was religiously in the Crusades. He and his kind were among the world’s most brutal and subversive groups to have ever held control over a group of people.”
It seems that there is just no way to satisfy the politically correct crowd. Thus “Indians” is demeaning to Indians. But “Knights” glorifies and holds in high esteem knighthood. Whichever argument is convenient.

They are in the business of articulating grievances, and they are good at it. Therefore, they can find something “offensive” about any symbol you can think of.

Or at least, any symbol that anybody might want to rally around.

The only way around this is to do what Marquette did: adopt a mascot so insipid that even the politically correct crowd can’t find a way to be aggrieved.

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