Here’s a case of pro…
Here’s a case of protestors just not getting it. Last year, an intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado decided to protest mascots referring to American Indians. They decided to call their team the Fightin’ Whites to protest those names in general and the Fightin’ Reds of Eaton High School in Colorado in particular. The intent was to show how insensitive it must be to have a team mascot that allegedly makes fun of your race.

Well, back in March the AP reported that the “protest” wasn’t having the desired effect. When they decided to sell T-shirts of the “Fightin’ Whites” sales were surprisingly brisk. A member of the team, Jeff Vanlwarden, remarked, “It’s obvious some of the people are taking it the way it’s not supposed to be taken. They think it’s cool and we’re honoring the white man.”

Apparently Mr. Vanlwarden and most of his compatriots, as well as the whole crowd who walk with furrowed brows while pondering the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins and Atlanta Braves, still have not realized what’s going on. See folks, it’s a mascot! It’s just a mascot. There’s no disrespect in it, and in fact there’s an honor that goes with it when a team wants to be identified with something or someone strong and picks you. Getting all bent out of shape about it is the epitome of hypersensitivity. There is no outrage over the Fightin’ Whites because it’s just a mascot.

And that’s why it’s intellectually dishonest to credit them with playing a part in the mascot changings that occured last year, as yesterday’s Washington Times article does. Liberal hypersensitivity has been sweeping academia, so the 20 high schools and 1 college that changed from American Indian mascots would have done so anyway. The momentum is already there. The Fightin’ Whites could only take credit for swaying people who had no problem with American Indian mascots before, but changed their minds because they thought the White’s mascot was demeaning. That does not appear to be very many at all.

Y’know, “Whites” is actually too generic a term to work up a really good outrage over. If they’d picked something more specific like the “Fighting Irish” or the “Fighting Scots”, then you’d rally folks to your cause, eh?

No, the problem is not a matter of images and symbols. It’s more a case of majoring in the minors at the University of Nothern Colorado, and getting worked up over nothing. There is no outcry over having the Whites mascot changed, and the Time article notes that other schools are considering a similar mascot in “protest”. The lack of outrage over that should be instructive.

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