Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Letters to the Editor (LA TIMES)

From LA Times (August 13, 2005)
VIEWPOINT/LETTERS

Fans Deem NCAA Mascot Rule Offensive
Why don't we all jump on the sensitivity bandwagon?

In case people forgot or never knew in the first place, mascots were always chosen to honor the school that chose them for their nobility and bravery. The PC police will never stop.

BLAINE OAKES
Lomita


It would be so refreshing if Bill Plaschke were required to do some research before writing a column.

Lumping Illinois' Chief Illiniwek and Florida State's Chief Osceola together with the nickname "Redskins" and the Cleveland Indians' caricatured mascot shows a deplorable level of ignorance.

First, Illinois' Chief Illiniwek does not "whoop" — ever; second, he is not dressed like a caricature, but dresses in the same deerskin clothing that was used by the Illiniwek Indians; third, what Plaschke calls "dancing like a fool" is a dance common to many Plains Indians. The Illinois student who portrays the chief studies and learns the dance from local Indian groups.

In other words, he educates himself about their culture so he can be as accurate a symbol of that lost culture as possible. Plaschke, on the other hand, far from educating himself, has quite obviously not even taken this issue seriously.

MICHAEL KENNEY
Woodland Hills



Bill Plaschke might find it interesting that the headdress used by Chief Illiniwek is made by a Sioux chief, Frank Fools Crow, for the university. One would think that if this were terribly racist, no Indian would commit such a sin.

STEVE ORTON
Los Angeles


It must be a slow news day when a writer of Bill Plaschke's stature feels compelled to attack a school mascot such as Chief Illiniwek.

The team name, Fighting Illini, should also not be included with the so-called abusive Indian names. "Illini" comes from the state's name, Illinois, which used to be an Indian tribe.

If the University of Illinois is banned from calling its team the Fighting Illini, maybe the state of Illinois should be forced to change its name too. Maybe Indiana, North and South Dakota and Minnesota and all the states with Indian names should follow suit.

MICHAEL BASKIN
Covina
 
 
The names or mascots are a minor issue when looking at the plight of American Indians today.

While we're at it, since my father is Swedish and my mother of Mexican descent, let's remove Vikings and Aztecs too, as it traumatizes me every time I see either team's mascot.

MATT PETERSON
Winnetka


Where does a group of academics get off deeming mascots to be offensive? Not even the tribal councils of the Seminoles or Utes were offended by Florida State's or Utah's use of their tribal names as mascots.

But the elite NCAA committee has now judged that they should have been. Perhaps the academics would make better use of their time teaching the rather obvious lesson on how easy it is to not take offense at something that was never meant to be offensive.

MEL WOLF
Burbank
 
 

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