UI trustees hear request on Chief Illiniwek

CHICAGO — In response to a proposal from former Chief Illiniwek portrayers to create a "reinvented Chief tradition" for the Urbana campus, University of Illinois President Bob Easter said he had concerns about anything that would distract the university from other, more critical issues facing higher education.

Easter, who has been a dean, department head, faculty member and graduate student at the Urbana campus for four decades prior to becoming president, said he knows how divisive the issue of Chief Illiniwek has been for the campus.

"My overarching concern is we're dealing with some very difficult issues in higher education, and anything that distracts from our ability to focus on those critical issues is a challenge from our standpoint," he told The News-Gazette on Wednesday after a board of trustees meeting. "We're in an era of our university where we really need to pull together to create our future as an institution of higher education. That's my focus," Easter said.

Easter pointed out that it is up to the campuses to decide whether or not they choose to have a "representation." He said he views his role as president as someone who interacts between the campus and the board of trustees.

Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who was attending a conference Wednesday and not at the meeting in Chicago, does not support the return of the Chief to any university-sponsored event. She has said the Chief tradition is part of the campus's past, not its future.

After being turned down by Wise earlier this spring, the group of former portrayers decided to take their case to the UI Board of Trustees. During the public comment session of Wednesday's board meeting, Rick Legue, a UI graduate who portrayed Chief Illiniwek in 1966 and 1967, summarized his group's proposal.

"Picture a Native American, a Peoria (Tribe of Oklahoma) student, in Peoria regalia, making a walk-on appearance during the Three-in-One, all by the design of and in collaboration with the Peoria Tribe," he said.

The "reinvented" Chief Illiniwek tradition, according to Legue, is for twice-a-year, on-field appearances on a two-year trial basis. There would be no dancing but "a stationary presence" during the "Hail to the Orange song" with the Marching Illini. The Chief's appearances would be tied to fundraising activity for the Peoria tribe, the UI and Native American organizations, according to the proposal.

"Our intent is to restore the good will at the university and reunite the Illini family," Legue said.

The UI Board of Trustees officially voted in March 2007 to end Chief Illiniwek's dance and the use of the Chief or any Native American imagery for the university or its athletic programs. The NCAA had previously prohibited the UI from hosting postseason tournaments as long as it used Native American imagery. When they voted to end the tradition, trustees delegated the Urbana campus chancellor to "manage the final disposition" of the matter.

James Montgomery, the only current UI trustee who was on the board when it voted to end the tradition back in 2007, said he did not support the group's proposal.

"The bottom line is that the board made, in my judgment, a good judgment in making the decision to eliminate the Chief for a number of reasons. One, to the extent that it might be viewed as insulting to folks of Indian descent and because it impairs our relationship with the NCAA," Montgomery said.

UI trustee Dr. Tim Koritz, who graduated from the UI in 1978, said he has "nothing but good memories" of Chief Illiniwek. However, he wasn't sure if consideration of the proposal was even a board issue.

"It's not clear in my mind what's best for the university," he said, adding that he thought both Legue and UI Professor Joyce Tolliver, who spoke out against bringing back any form of the Chief, raised valid points. In her remarks, Tolliver urged the board to consider the "angry debate" that occurred on campus for years and how it consumed the campus and community.

"As you weigh the request of one interest group against the finality of that 2007 board decision, I ask that you, members of the current board, keep in mind the well-being of every segment of our university community. A university symbol should be a unifying thing. There's no way the Chief can ever be anything but divisive," Tolliver said.

Tolliver said she was speaking on behalf of herself and colleague Nick Burbules, not the entire faculty or Urbana's Academic Senate. Both Tolliver and Burbules are part of the Senate Executive Committee, a group of leaders from the senate. That group last week hurriedly passed a resolution that reinforced previous statements by the senate that called on the tradition to be retired. The nonbinding resolution, drawn up in response to the former Chiefs' proposal, expressed full support for Wise's statements that Chief Illiniwek is a part of the school's past, not its future.

The university should have some kind of tradition, "something people can be proud of," but it's not the board's responsibility to decide what it should be, said UI trustee and UI graduate Patricia Brown Holmes. She suggested that the campus organize focus groups at which students and faculty can explore options and ideas for a new tradition. "Let's find a mascot that everybody can agree on, a tradition everyone can agree on, a way to move forward. That's what I'd love to see: I want to see us move forward," she said.

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Illiniwek222 wrote on May 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

 "Let's find a mascot that everybody can agree on..."


Well, you'll never find something that everybody can agree on. You'll have to settle for a majority. And despite the opinions of Bob and Phyllis, that majority seems to want the return of the Chief. 

Alexander wrote on May 30, 2013 at 11:05 am

The majority of students would probably want to have free massages and drinks during class. So what.

outoftownie wrote on May 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

First off, who is voting? That will skew your majority. Second, this is not an issue to be solved with a vote. A majority does not necessarily mean correct. You could get a majority saying that gas should be $2 a gallon, but that is not going to happen.

 

I felt that the best thing o do before was to get a compromise. Change the tradition in some way to be more authentic and more accepting. But no one wanted a compromise until the whole thing was gone. Thn suddenly it was compromise time.

As I like to tell current students, there were many traditions that I follwed, and even started, while I was in college. But now some of those are not appropriate. You do not need to honor the past if honoring the past means breaking laws or causing major disturbances.

I say, let the Chief rest. It is past his time.

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 5:06 pm

True the sampling error ust be taken into consideration. However, the margin of error seems minimal compared to the results.. 

Indeed, we do not take that into consideration with voting for elections?  

There were great efforts to compromise.  In 2002, a special representative worked a year to find a consensus/compromise.  He reported a year later, no compromise could be reached.  Much of his (lengthy) report spoke to how it was those in the opposition who found no middle ground possible as long as "the chief" still existed.  I can assure you, having been in high school and college at the time of this.. Many asked for the chance ot compromise... no ground was given..  Indeed... Chief Illiniwek stopped many performances as the years progressed, especially pulling back in the 1980's and 1990's.  At the end, his performances, save to elementary schools, were reserved to what I believe were Volleyball, Mens and womens basketball, and football.

A majority does not essentially entail the end of an issue.  However, should the results have been the opposite, I get the feeling that it would be utilized by those wishing its end.  

 

Lostinspace wrote on June 02, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Why not a mascot for the entire community? Carl Broadband, the dancing piggy. Or Champy the Sheared Sheep.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on May 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

When will the zombie fetishists of the little dancing chief wahoo give it up already?

They represent a vestige of America that doesn't want to give up it's assumed privilege and entitlement to humiliate and appropriate the cultures of others. Do they also have no problem with black face and minstrel shows?

Oskeewowwow78 wrote on May 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm

To Mark Taylor's Ghost.

Why do you choose to call names to those of us who have a different viewpoint than you? 

How can a representation of a Native American culture be anything but positive if it is done so from a place of respect?  The former representation was just that in my opinion.  However, some people, mind you none were actually members of the Illini Nation as it no longer exists, decided they were somehow offended anyway. Okay, so now that there is support for some sort of revised portrayal of the Chief from the most related existing tribe of Native Americans, are we to still be "zombie fetishists of the little dancing chief wahoo"?  

What makes you so righteous that you get to proclaim what is right and good all while casting stones of insults?  

Just be quite and let the adults hash this out.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on May 31, 2013 at 7:05 am

Why do you choose to call names to those of us who have a different viewpoint than you?...Just be quite and let the adults hash this out.

You don't get to decide who gets to speak on the matter, no matter how super duper clever, if hypocritical, your put down is. Your continued support for the equivalence of a black faced minstrel show act, decades after being made aware of its offensiveness, is, frankly, hardly upstanding.

How can a representation of a Native American culture be anything but positive if it is done so from a place of respect?

It's also hardly credible that you are not aware that the dancing chief wahoo, and any descendants, are not respectful. They are cultural appropriations and are racist and offensive. They're a continuation of a boy scout's romanticized "noble savage" view of Indians and these modern day minstrel acts have no place in decent society, let alone as mascots of a major university.

What makes you so righteous that you get to proclaim what is right and good all while casting stones of insults?

I also have an opinion on this matter. My position just happens to differ from yours. You're offended by my opinion and how I express it? Guess what? I'm offended by the racist chief wahoo as well as by people making excuses.

I just don't happen to believe that it's somehow my place to tell people I disagree with not to speak their minds.

SaintClarence27 wrote on June 04, 2013 at 10:06 am

If only I could "like" this post.

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 5:06 pm

What the post was referrinng to (the comment, from Oskiewow) I believe was to the reference to Zombies, black face, etc..

Especially the zombies...  it is while black humour is popular...  that is really more ridiculing individuals, than arguing a topics merits... You hvae a right ot say your opinion, in your manner.  Just it seems you respect your right and your opinions far more than you respect those who oppose you... Again, though, intent is quite hard to ascertain through the internet...

Jack65 wrote on May 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm

"Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who was attending a conference Wednesday and not at the meeting in Chicago, does not support the return of the Chief to any university-sponsored event. She has said the Chief tradition is part of the campus's past, not its future."...So, the American Flag is part of the past...Let's not recognize it...and, "University of Illinois President Bob Easter said he had concerns about anything that would distract the university from other, more critical issues facing higher education."...Sorry that Bob can't walk and chew gum at he same time...

outoftownie wrote on May 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Huh? Where did that American Flag comment come from? Now it has been awhile since I learned about logical arguments in high school, but I believe that is called a non-sequitur. This subject has nothing to do with the American Flag; you are simply trying to stir people up with it.

Also, the American Flag is still in use, and is part of the present. The Chief is not in use, and is therefore, part of the past. That is the difference.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on June 02, 2013 at 10:06 pm
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Actually, the american flag comparison is decent...it's actually pretty sequitur indeed!

Red and white stripes: 13 original colonies

The American Colonies are part of the country's past, and we cannot go back, we must move forward. People like the flag because it represents history, which is fine, but we have to look forward.

I am offended by your flag which you consider non-sequitur, please change it. 

Most of the above is sarcasm, I'm just getting so sick of the chief argument and the people who argue about it.  I'm just here to play devils advocate and poke fun. 

 

 

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Yet another "shade of grey", the "I am sick of this fighting".

Trust me, while I do enjoy a good debate, I have operated as "backed into a corner" mode for a bit on this issue... 

I feel someone like you should be the one leading the discussions... or making the decision... as you will actually cut to the point, either way and call people out.. Usually those not seeking power are the best at it..

alabaster jones 71 wrote on June 04, 2013 at 8:06 am
Profile Picture

My position on the Chief has been pretty consistent.

When he was around, it always made me a little uncomfortable that there was some white kid dancing around pretending to be a Native American.

At the same time, I find a lot of the outrage and condemnation from white liberals over this and many other racial issues to be rather paternalistic and overbearing.

Long story short.....didn't really give a damn when he was there, and I don't give a damn that he's gone now.  There are too many serious issues facing this state and this country to still be arguing about a college sports mascot who will never, ever, ever, ever come back in a university sponsored or condoned capacity.

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Hey, 

To adress your point, I definitely respect it..  I though feel it can have a place.  I agree, though unfortunately, I feel people think they can have more effect in this issue, rather than the quagmire of the Illinois State Congressional system.. 

Though, I myself do not wish to stop trying...  I feel though that the issue at hand, how we converse, is shown in this microcasm... it is truly hard to come to agreements, it seems..

On those issues, though, term limits and working to curb lobbyists would be a GREAT start..  Oh and really stopping the Jerrymandering would be benefitial (from BOTH parties..)

 

 

Bheller wrote on May 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm

This is what a compromise begins as.  

I have grown up in Champaign, experiencing this tradition, and now as an adult and teacher, seek out more about the people's that it is based upon.  It has been an impetus of inspiration for me and many others I have spoke to.  It allows us to pause and reflect upon our heritige.  I have seen few other places in the sporting world where people unify, and join arms together behind a symbol.  There is potential.

For as a Sioux man stated to me a few years ago, if you are born of this land, live here, you are a part of it.  Truly, as he stated, we are the face of the new America, the new "Natives".  And if this tradition can be utilized in a positive manner, to be allowed to evolve rather than simply compared to those of the Cleveland Indians..  Well, maybe, just maybe, our own piece of society can wake up and connect with the land around them.

Just maybe, it can help the many seek the soul of the land we now inhabit.  And let this tradition, to evolve, utilize that goowill..  

And for all of us,

To learn.

 

 

 

 

 

mark taylor's ghost wrote on May 31, 2013 at 7:05 am

Very nice example of romanticizing the "noble savage" and using a mishmash of cultural appropriation to justify and glorify it.

Bheller wrote on May 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

Mr. Ghost,

That was eloquent and quite visceral at the same time, I congratulate you if that was your goal.

However, it in this case is not simply about what was, but what something could be.  My statement merely emphasizes the potential from the tradition.  Things are not always black and white, and I what is being stated is to utilize the goodwill for the benefit of all involved.  People are watching, and that truly is an opportunity for teaching.

So please, pull up a chair and join in a discussion of what this could be.  Add your voice  and whta comes out WILL be bettered.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on May 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

As I alluded to in my (eloquent and visceral?) reply to wowwow78, sports mascots that represent, through cultural appropriation, a romanticized "noble savage" conceptions of Indians are, by their very nature, racist and offensive. Your first comment called for a continuation of this cultural appropriation of Indian imagery in furtherance of the "noble savage" mythos that is still so common in the US.

That is not respect; it's arrogance and entitlement and privilege and it is no different than black face and minstrel shows.

illinois alum wrote on June 01, 2013 at 9:06 am

I am entering this discussion a bit late in the game and will not get into the mudslinging that has been going on. From my experience at the university late 70's-early 80's and then with two daughters attending post Chief, I find the entire situation unfortunate. If the interpretation of "how" the chief performed is negative, then I suppose I accept that, but I can say that no one who watched it, experienced it or supported it felt that way or intended it to be that way. The Illini Nation was held up as a proud native culture from Illinois and this was a way to remember them and honor them. Now living in the Joliet Area and having spent much time at Starved Rock through the years, I feel it is more important than ever to make sure that the Illiniwek Indians are not forgotten. I honestly think that if it were not for the University adopting that as their Symbol, the knowledge of that Tribe's existence would be much more limited (since they perished on Starved Rock long ago). I also feel that it is unfortunate that in the case of the Seminoles, Florida has kept the tradition since there are existing native members to support it. In Illinois' case, that was not possible was it. I think it is sad that people chose to eliminate the Chief rather than to work to have it be an "accurate" tribute to the Illiniwek and native cultures. No one chooses a school mascot that is something that they want to make fun of. They are symbols of strength, positive attributes to aspire to. I think that is the big difference in the reference to "black face" as people always knew that was poking fun at African Americans. The bottom line is that I just do not understand why everyone would not be supportive of bring back the Chief if it was done "right", whatever that may mean.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 01, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I feel it is more important than ever to make sure that the Illiniwek Indians are not forgotten...

the knowledge of that Tribe's existence would be much more limited...

This is condescending, arrogant, racist and culturally appropriative. No matter how earnestly you may believe you are attempting to "honor" the recipients of your self-styled magnanimity, you are being offensive and insulting.

If you truly wanted to "respect and honor" them, you'd listen to them when they say you're being offensive. The fact is that, after decades now, you still choose to ignore and repudiate them when they tell you that your alleged "tribute" is actually a grave insult.

If you cared about them, you'd listen to them. The plain fact, that we all see, is that you stubbornly chose, time after time, not to listen to them and that makes it plain, for all to see, that you do not "respect and honor" them.

We see you.

I think it is sad that people chose to eliminate the Chief rather than to work to have it be an "accurate" tribute to the Illiniwek and native cultures

I think it's sad that grown adults are acting like spoiled children who want to try to refuse to accept changing circumstances. But, oh well. The tantrum will pass.

Eventually.

We'll wait.

Bheller wrote on June 01, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Mr. Ghost,

· In March 2001, Joseph Kolb (2001) reported the findings of a University New Mexico at Gallup poll of 458 Native Americans. The results were similar to those published in SI: 25% felt honored, 21% were not offended, 18% were partially offended, 6% were very offended, and 23% did not care; in turn, 11% found mascots to be very harmful, 27% thought they were partially harmful, 51% believed they were not harmful, and 10% did not care.

Native groups, in general, have been supportive.  However, you make no distinction between extremes and that truly is what I wanted to call to question.  There is a difference between Chief Illiniwek and Chief Wahoo.  Between Chief Illiniwek and "black face", by not allowing a distinction, or at the very least demonstating with facts why they are the same, I have a hard time seeing things from your point of view.

 The Peoria tribe in the 1995 :
 

"In 1995, the Peoria Tribe, the direct descendants of the remnants of the Illini Tribe, approved the use of the Chief by the University. At that time, during a WICD (the Champaign affiliate of NBC) broadcast, Chief Giles of the Peoria tribe stated:"To say that we are anything but proud to have these portrayals would be completely wrong. We're proud that the University of Illinois is the major institution in the state, a seat of learning, and they are drawing on that background of our having been there. And what more honor could they pay us.""

Yes, times change, different leadership, etc.  However, many inidividuals have spoken out in support of the tradition. I was once infomred by a college professor that no individual of a minority would support a 'racist tradition'.  This again, is not supported by the facts.  Even the decision of late by the Peoria was in a razor thing margin of 3-2 in favor of the ending of the tradition in the mid 2000's decade.

We must all learn, as we grow, that there are shades of grey.  Those points where compromise is not only merited, but even the preferred way to move forward.  Our political parties, both, could learn from this.

We are waiting at the table, and there is more than enough room.  And, we are listening.
But are you?

 

Sid Saltfork wrote on June 01, 2013 at 8:06 pm

You expect too much from him.  Listening, and compromising are acquired adult skills.

Bheller wrote on June 01, 2013 at 10:06 pm

No, I don't.  I think he has a valid point of view.  And in a compromise, a new tradition, will require new, and ALL voices to make the evolution something even greater than I think we might even guess.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 2:06 am

Typical contribution from Sid.

It's what we know to expect from him.

Sid Saltfork wrote on June 04, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Your living up to the expectations of others with your rabid comments.  Who is "we"?  There is you, and perhaps a mirror; but you use "we" as if you have a group.  Maybe, a discussion without attacks would lead to a dialogue.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 02, 2013 at 6:06 pm

While you're cutting and pasting from Wikipedia, which is where you got the Kolb citation, it's worth noting what the very next paragraph after the one you cherry-picked had to say:

"Later that same year, Indian Country Today (ICT) (2001) published results of its survey of its American Indian Opinion Leaders, a group of self-selected Native Americans who offer feedback to the newspaper on issues of importance.In contrast with SI’s findings, respondents overwhelmingly held critical views of mascots and their implications: 81% found them to be “offensive and deeply disparaging”; 10% thought names and mascots were respectful; 73% believed they fostered a hostile environment; 75% agreed that they were a violation of antidiscrimination laws, and 69% indicated that funds should be withheld from schools with Native American mascots."

Funny how you left that out in your cherry-picking, isn't it.

Bheller wrote on June 02, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Again, to reitorate my point below, I generally do not do my research from wikipedia.  

I read the article, and found that it was a good reference for the aformentioned citation. I  then would ask why the disparity?  How many were surveyed?  What was the margin of error?  These are important things to take into consideration, and gallup has been rather reliable in stating this information.  I will though be looking into the validity the other survey aswell.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 03, 2013 at 6:06 am

By the way, be aware that the University of New Mexico at Gallup is not the same as the much better-known Gallup Organization, which is not based in New Mexico but Washington, DC.

Tom Napier wrote on June 02, 2013 at 7:06 pm

You can't debate with them.  They won't let you.  I've tried.

They refuse to acknowledge the involvement of Native Americans in the development of the Chief Illiniwek traditon.  They refuse to acknowledg anything positive can come of the proposal to develop an appropriate Native American presence at the UI.  They refuse to acknowledge the educational opportunities.  They refuse to acknowledge their perception of racism is not universally shared by all Native Americans.  They refuse to acknowledge that their perception of racism is rejected by the vast majority within the UI community.  Their response will always be the circular arguement that any Native American representation, despite collaboration with the Peoria Tribe, will be racist, cagegorically, black-and-white, because they say it's racist.  They refuse to acknowledge that shades of gray even exist.  

I really wish it were different, but that's the way they like it. 

Gotta go, the Blackhawks game is starting.  I suppose that's racist too.  Ask Ray Emery.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 02, 2013 at 7:06 pm

"They refuse to acknowledge the involvement of Native Americans in the development of the Chief Illiniwek traditon."

Lincoln Perry, the guy who played the egregious racial caricature Stepin Fetchit, was African-American. By Napier-logic, we should declare that Stepin Fetchit couldn't possibly, possibly, possibly be a racist caricature because there was an African-American "involved in the development" of the character.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 2:06 am

The fact that you mock the notion that the Black Hawks hockey team is also a racist apporpriation of Indian imagery perfectly illustrates the transparently dishonest nature of your clumsy obfuscation.

So you think the Chicago Black Hawks is a perfectly fine and respectful portrayal, huh? What about the Washington Redskins?

Your privilege is showing (and it ain't pretty).

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 12:06 pm

You infer a great deal from words on the internet... 

Your intent is also showing..  and it is not seemingly from the body of information provided, one that seeks mutual understanding.  Just for others to understand, no, believe your own thoughts, nothing more... no sharing of the minds..  

Tom Napier wrote on June 02, 2013 at 6:06 pm

"This is condescending, arrogant, racist and culturally appropriative. No matter how earnestly you may believe you are attempting to 'honor' the recipients of your self-styled magnanimity, you are being offensive and insulting."

My son just returned from Arizona, where he received compliments from Native Americans about his Chief t-shirt

"If you truly wanted to 'respect and honor' them, you'd listen to them when they say you're being offensive. The fact is that, after decades now, you still choose to ignore and repudiate them when they tell you that your alleged 'tribute' is actually a grave insult."

I recently had an intern from Oklahoma working for me .  She's the one who informed me about the Oklahoma State Flag, and it's symbolism unifying Native Americans and Europeans.  I wish I can type the "pfffffffsssht" sound she made when I described to her some of the anti-Chief opposition in this community.    She says those who complain about Native American imagry don't know what they're talking about.  In her community, such people are dismissed as marginal, fringe.  Oh, her ancestry is Oklahoma Cherokee and Blackfoot.

"If you cared about them, you'd listen to them. The plain fact, that we all see, is that you stubbornly chose, time after time, not to listen to them and that makes it plain, for all to see, that you do not 'respect and honor' them."

I met a student at North Carolina State University who was totally unaware of the situation at the UI.  She inquired about the Chief logo on my baseball cap and said it was very attractive.  I described to her the origins of Chief Illiniwek, and she said she felt honored that the UI would recognize Native Americans.  When I told her the Chief had been retired, and why, her response was disappointment, her remark was "that's stupid."  Her ancestry?  Carolina Cherokee. 

So, you being so right and anyone who disagrees being so ... racist, you define these folks as racist.  Would you tell them that to their faces?

And ... on your next post ... please address comments directly instead being evasive and repeating the same old "it's racist because I say it's racist" argument.

 

Bheller wrote on June 02, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I must agree.. That term generally seems to be the "nuclear option" in terms of debate... No one likes to be thought of as racist... and that should be used sparingly...

I additional would call to question again the idea I have contiously had stated to me.  The concept that most natives are opposed to this tradition..  In this case, the burden of proof is upon your shoulders..  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Through conducting at least single-blind tests, in comparison to other images, for example an eagles, Chief Wahoo, "Black Face" caricatures, Chief Osceola, Chief Illiniwek, Redskins,  and rate them...  I again ask what image were they shown?  Was this test done just in general?  Who was sampled?  These are critical questions that any survey must take into account..  

I have been also "informed" unequivocally that "minorities are against the chief".  I can give you many accounts of individuals, such as the late Frank Fools Crow, the Arizona tribe who in the 1950's adopted Chief Illiniwek as an official member of their tribe, to numberous Illinois alums and community members..  Even the tribal support of Chief Osceola, this is not a great tide as you suggest... However, people must allow for evolution and change as ideas are added.

Most of all, I must call to question the idea this has been "white men, dancing in the field".  Steve Rayquel, Princess Illiniwek, many different individuals have represented this tradition.  It is unique and predates traditional collegiate mascots.  Again, show another "Mascot" that comes on the field for 5 minutes only, and leaves.  What is he?  I do not know.

He seems beyond the tradition classifications we hold to mascot, yet something entirely unique.  

The Inoka are gone, destroyed before the french came by rival groups, (including the peoria)  However, we are the new peoples of this land and should this tradition have a chance to help us reach back to all that was done right by the first peoples... To inspire people to as it did for me and many others I have spoken to actually learn about the peoples, I believe we should take it, not crusade upon it from all our memories.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 2:06 am

The anecdotal evidence you ask us to accept is meaningless and would remain so even if you were able to back up all the claims within.

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 8:06 am

So... I share my experiences, along with the experiences with others that have shared them with me.  That is part of the editorial system.  INdeed, I feel you will not find Frank Fools Crow in addition to the Arizona tribe, nor the most recent student polls  anecdotal evidence.  

And how is anything I have stated less anecdotal that your aspurtions that it offends in general?  

The burden of proof is upon your side for that... I cannot "prove" something does not offend some, indded that is why we are asking for discussion on moving forward and evolution..  However, I require unbaised information to show your point of a majority claim.  (Or at least, that is why I can readily infer, save if you would like to again put forward some do just not understand your point of view "yet")\

I would counter to state that you are not engaging in the original issue and work to defeat a straw man and declare your victory..  Please adress our points?  

Bheller wrote on June 01, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Alum,

I believe the reason is due to the polarization.  The "you are either with me or not".  

" I think it is sad that people chose to eliminate the Chief rather than to work to have it be an "accurate" tribute to the Illiniwek and native cultures."

Thank you for that, well said.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 02, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Unfortunately, it gets the causality backwards. It was the Chief's supporters who, while the Chief was still doing his little Boy Scout dance in his Hollywood facepaint, refused to accept or acknowledge the fundamental racism of the caricature. When the lost the battle, suddenly *now* we're hearing them come forward with, "okay, so we'll skip the racist Boy Scout dance, and we'll skip the Sioux costume, and we'll skip the eagle feathers, and ..."

Too late. The ship sailed.

And now they're arguing, "our new proposed rendition of the Chief is all different, and now is all non-racist -- but never, ever will we admit that the previous rendition *was* racist, and that there is a spectactular amount of bad faith we have built up on the issue by refusing to acknowledge that, either then or now."

Bheller wrote on June 02, 2013 at 11:06 pm

To begin and to adress the "Cherry Picking" and wiki suggestion..

No I have not actually accessed the wiki page for this debate, there are other polls, I agree, however the one I showed was done by a nationally regarded poll.  I call to question the validity/ sampling error in the other polls, though to concede Gallup itself is not "foolproof".

Second point, What I found for the most part were individuals who stated they had not seen the performance in person as it was "racist and hostile and abusive, etc."  

In addition, the "hollywood style" is an unfair comparison, the tradition itself evolved over time and was even comented in the 1980's by Frank Fools Crow as "As long as it remains honorable, it is a good thing."  He actually came to the university as a guest of the then band director Mr. Gary Smith to see the performance in the regalia made by he and his family.  

Who are you to say it is too late?  This is the issue... we did ask for comrpomise, for discussion..

We were met with "it is racist, it has to go, no compromise".  Look at the transcripts of the arguments.  A special investigative representative was appointed and stated that there was no compromise to be allowed.

No, we are acknowledging (and I should say, I speak for myself, not anyone else), that the rules are universal.  That your argument has consistently painted our Chief as the same as Chief Wahoo.  That is the error.  You allow for no shades of grey.

It is either your way, or it is "the continue to be racist" way.  A hard word to combat, is it not?

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 2:06 am

Yes, we stubbornly and unrealistically categorically reject a half unreconstructed racist/half somewhat attenuated racist mascot.

Such a fringe and marginal position, huh?

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 8:06 am

Please discuss the merit of your statement.  At what point does it become racist?  Who decides?  The peoples should indeed.  However, what of those who do not agree, who have state categorically that it is not a dishonor.  

I will concede this: http://sportstimemachine.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/STMAK68.1-Indians-Logo.gif

Is what you speak.  It has since I was young, have always felt was painful.  If you might, please compare and contrast those.  

Much of that was because it was nothing like what we had.  It was not done with some semblance of ritual.  Chief Illiniwek's performance has again, has never been even desrcibed factualy to me by those who are opposed to it.  The music predates the tradition, the fact that many portrayers actually journied to the Oglala Sioux to be immersed in their culture is also lost.  These are not trivial facts, however, important not only in determining the intent, but also to show that this was done differently... Again, these were and not are all "white men", but a myriad of people's and individuals from other cultures.  Look no further than those who carry the torch today.  I feel they disagree with your viewpoint.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 12:06 pm

"I call to question the validity/ sampling error in the other polls, though to concede Gallup itself is not "foolproof"."

Once again, you're demonstrating that you think this is a Gallup poll. It isn't. It's not from the Gallup Organization. It is instead from the University of New Mexico at Gallup. That is, the UNM campus in Gallup, New Mexico, population 21,000. (Washington DC, where the Gallup Organization is based, is a bit bigger than that.)

Big difference, for those of us who can keep the difference straight.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 2:06 am

Yes, after decades of dismissing chief wahoo critics as "fringe and marginal" and "not representative," they now suddenly want to talk things out.

Or they want to engage in their misunderstood caricature like perception of what they think honestly discussing an issue is like. They obfuscate and dissemble and dance around the central issue, that chief wahoo is and was racist and that any continuation, despite any attenuation of the sharp racist edges, would also be racist.

They disingenuously return again and again to debunked claims and anecdotal stories.

Someone who told me they were 1/64 Cherokee once told me they have no problem with chief wahoo so that totally totally refutes your argument that chief wahoo is racist.

Changing the minstrel show's wardrobe, song list, dialog, and lines doesn't make it any less racist. Black face remains black face.

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 8:06 am

Mr. Ghost,

I believe you are on the wrong page?  Again, this is of Illinois, not the professional baseball team.. :/

My point has always been many do not come to the table from the statement that it is "racist" along with the others.  My point has been that the facts have been overlooked as inidviduals have categorically told me, that nothing could change their mind anyways, and why should they learn more about something so racist?  

Ignorance and intimidation with the terminology have been some of the greatest weapons in this debate, and indeed some supporters know little aswell.  Again, I invite you to sit down with us and discuss... debate..

You make such a grand claim, however, your arguemnt is "right is right, wrong is wrong".  You now are engaging in red herring and beliving that by arguing minstrel shows/ tying it your premise, will prove your point, is incorrect.  

Argue with the logic at hand.  That is akin to saying the car is red, thus all things that are red are cars, so I win the debate. "In order to make a positive claim, positive evidence for the specific claim must be presented. The abscence of another only means that we do not know -- it does not mean we get to make up a specific explanation."

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

What's sad is that you honestly do not seem to be aware that everyone can see through your laughable and transparently disingenuous attempts at "dialog."

This issue has been discussed for over two decades. I am not going to debate whether minstrel shows and black face are in fact racist or whether, per chance, they may just in fact not appear to be so racist after squinting your eyes and hitting yourself on the head with a hammer for a few hours.

Nobody honestly believes your obvious attempts at further obfuscation and distraction have any relation, no matter how tenuous, to a sincere desire to engage in discussion. If, at this point, you still refuse to accept that the minstrel show black face routine was and is unacceptable, then you are clearly not interested in truly understanding the opposing view.

You are, clumsily and transparently, trying to somehow distract from the fact that what you are proposing is nothing more than a continuation of the minstrel show black face boy scout misapporpriation of Indian imagery and culture for the drunken entertainment of college sports spectators.

The days of such institutionally sponsored racism are gone and they're not coming back.

Just out of curiosity, what you your views on the controversies surrounding the names of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Redskins?

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 11:06 am

This is the point at which we degrade to attacks against me personaly..

I believe this debate is over.

I have not related anything to you in this debate, save in the title, nothing personally.  You are unable, as far as I understand, ot comprehend my intent.  It is difficult in real life to gauge intent of a conversation, howeer through the internet, it is highly difficult.

Everyone comment, and "Nobody honestly believes your obvious attempts at further obfuscation and distraction have any relation,"  Again, quantify this, as a scientificly minded individual, I enjoy data to support claims.. 

So if I do not accpet your premise as reality, I am not listening to you?  Are you seeing the problem in this?  We are allowed differing thoughts, at least, that is what understand discourse to be.  

You call to question me and again work to speak for my intent, without listening to its contents.  Nothing of what you have said has truly changed from the beginning of the conversation.  You have brought up "talking points" and recited passionately what you believe, however being deaf to others.  

The one who is being shown is the extremism of your arguemnt.  Again, it is not an argument that all who agree with you share.  You are painting this as a black and white situation.  I again will ask you to respond ot my inital query.  Compare and contrast the Chief Wahoo image to evne the Washington Redskins.  Or to Blackface.  

Your argument is for a cleansing of all, and I feel such a move is unnecessary.  What makes your point of view not only more valid, but so valid to discount and ridicule others themselves?  Again, red herring and straw man.  Argue with facts, not comparisons..

"whether minstrel shows and black face are in fact racist "   Again, to state in logic:
That minstrel shows are racist, and that means any other thing possibly comparable is also racist, OR all arguments for minstrel shows will apply, indeed with all of the negative conontations, is false logic.  As humans, we work to bring logic to a chaotic mind and world.  However, in debate, we still must strive to use reason.  Not simply feelings.  

"laughable and transparently disingenuous "  again, I really find this to be as I learned way back in my debate courses, to be the point at which a side has lost ground.. Please see that this is not productive and does not paint your point any better.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Accurately describing your comments and their (quite) apparent intent is not a personal attack. You have not changed your insistence that your little dancing chief wahoo is not racist for more than two decades. I seriously doubt you have much modified your "debate" tactics or even your script in that time either.

The debate has been had. The question is settled. Whether you personally can accept that is, frankly, of little consequence.

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Again, you continue to misname the person... please give a reason?  And substantiate it :)

Again, it was more to the presmuntion of my intent.  Yes, I have listened in the 20 years, though I was more concerned for the first 10 with other matters such as primary schooling..  I am not speaking for any save myself.  I feel there is room for compromise.  To say it is over and move on just because it is in your favor is unfair..  It is akin to saying that you cannot overturn a law... or modify it even.  It is personal with the insinuations you make.. you call to question people's character, rather than give valid reasons of the tradition that are the issue... and thus allow for discourse.

It is not about it.  The debate aws not settled, obviously.  It was a mandate, which held the postseasons of multiple teams hostage.  I cannot feel any sane mind could have done anything else.

That is akin to saying... a country surrendered, and for all time, it shall always be in its current state.

 

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Again, not Chief Wahoo... 

And no, that is not my argument... 

The fact that groups in the past, before pressures, were in favor.. .My question would be why did that change?  You can try to force people to think your way, but they end up resenting you... It is better to lead by example and show them, teach them... not ridicule their position...

Tom Napier wrote on June 03, 2013 at 11:06 pm

"Someone who told me they were 1/64 Cherokee once told me they have no problem with chief wahoo so that totally totally refutes your argument that chief wahoo is racist."

I think Mr. Ghost just called me a liar because he doesn't believe me, or he's dismissing people with Native American lineage as irrelevant because they disagree with him. 

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 5:06 pm

To those that see things in black and white, with me or against me, I have found people usually state those who they expect to agree, and even state that MUST agree with them, are simply misguided.

I do not feel those who disagree on this with me are misguided, I work to understand and work to try to build a bridge to which mutual understanding and compromise can blossom.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 02, 2013 at 6:06 pm

.

Illiniwek222 wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

Spangwurst is speechless? Looks like he and the ghost have met their match in Bheller. Rational, deliberative thought processes for a change.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

Ya. We've sure been overmatched. If that's what you think rational and deliberative discourse is, then that explain a lot about reactionary discourse in our country these days.

Just out of curiosity, what are you views on the controversies surrounding the names of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Redskins?

Illiniwek222 wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

Ok with the Blackhawks. Don't like the Redskin name. Not a fan of the Brave's tomahawk chop either.

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Again, a shade of grey, which is sadly not to "be allowed" or discussed... I wish to discuss those shades and why and what they are...

Not this "your either with me or against me" of which many in our society are enamoured. 

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

Mr. ghost, 

I agree, this is a microcosm of the discourse.  

Even through all of this, in the end, there is not a greater understanding between us.  However, I do respect your point of view.  We are better for having it, just please take the possibility that we are not racist nor misguided.  And even more, that there is something of value to the idea of a compromise for all involved.  

If I might comment on the names..  While I have not seen much of the professional side of hockey and redskin football, It is something like all things that all should have free discussions about.  This is the little on this area I do know, redskin is a more generalized term, like the mis-leading "indian" term, however blackhawk is a specific tribal group.  I will look more into it, though, thanks to your comment!

spangwurfelt wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

"just please take the possibility that we are not racist nor misguided"

Racist, well, that's not up to me to decide.

Defending a racist tradition: well, that's clearly the case. And people just aren't going to accept "our new version of the Chief is *much* less racist" until you actually getting around to admitting that "of course, that means the old one really was just as racist as you were saying it was all along."

And, since that'll never happen, the "New and improved! Now with 99.4% less racism!" chief is going nowhere.

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Interesting point.

I though will counter your insinuation though that he was racist.  Not only in intent, but having spoken to one who was there at the beginning of the Chife.  In addition, through the idea of that you hvae not clearily defined what is and what is not racist.  And not one person categorically should decide.

No, we can evolve the tradition; all things evolve or they do not survive.  The reasoning is that the current itteration is misguidedly not allowed.  Thus, on the points that those organizers are being told we the reasons, we seek to have compromise.  

If you believe such a thing has no chance, why argue so vehemently?  Why not shake your head, and move on?  Not all things can be done simply by public opinion, however, could there be an ounce of truth in what we say?  I again concede some imagery IS exceptionally ridiculus.  Value the people, have faith in their intellect.  They are not some group of fools that cannot nor should not have a say... that only those "most knowledgeable" should dictate...  That sir, is an oligarchy... "We know whats best".  Why else protest the "next dance" events, whenb those were unaffiliated with the University?  Your point is best made through converse and compromise, not dictation.

We are willing to listen, and you can concede a point... Take a cross in front of a courthouse.  It is to be removed, and while you might believe in it, simply be condeding a point, does not mean you no longer believe in it.  It simply means, okay, I respect what you have to say... And you expect others to do the same.  Your extremism is what truly turns me off from your points.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 03, 2013 at 2:06 pm

"If you believe such a thing has no chance, why argue so vehemently?"

Because the Chief's remaining supporters are demonstrating that they've missed the entire point of the whole debate if they're still trying to have a Chief Lite make an Appearance Lite at a Three In One Lite at the same old stomping grounds.

I'm old enough to remember eating at a chain called Sambo's. When they took too much heat for their name, and for using a stereotypical African American boy for their mascot, they switched to a stereotypical boy from India, turban and all. They kept the name. The lesson was not learned.

Now we're being told that a few alums here and there, and the Elba Council of Exiled Chiefs, are trying to create a new mascot who is, if not the racist Chief caricature they clearly wouldn't mind reinstating if given a chance, at least something that's kinda chiefy around the edges. Call it chiefiness. "We don't think the old Chief was racist, and here is the new Chief Lite we also don't think is racist."

Until you demonstrate that you understand just what was wrong with the old Chief, and why chiefiness is a bad idea, nobody's going to be very impressed with your "Can't we just split the difference? Can we settle for, say, 20% racist tops?"

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Same akin to Aunt Jemima, and Uncle Ben... should those be changed?  I do not know!  Let it be discussed...

No, it is akin in this case to "okay, we see that you feel differently, so let's compromise".

Since you include minstrel shows oftenly in the debate, it is akin to being unable to get a law passed in congress, without making concessions to other points of view, 

The burden of proof is still upon you to show he is, or at least how he is not any different from "Chief Wahoo".  Please, should we switch that topic, as the other poster continues to try to suggest we do, I will join in with you.

No... it is "okay, it is of the Plains group in the past", lets get the forest group involved.  It was not perfect, however, point to me anything that is?  Anything that does not require an evolution... Not removal..

However, we are merely stating, as he has as you have stated "gone away", we wish for itteration that can work for all people.  Who is nobody?  You claim to have with your statements many who agree?  Though a vast majority do not..  Work with us, I implore you..  

Again, the evidence is upon you to show that it IS something racist, rather than you to ask us to "prove" it is not, to all...  It to start would require your parameters for how you judged it guilty, etc.  Help me to understand the why, rather than just state how you feel and a limited group of others... Why is it?? and how can there be no distinction made between it and "Chief Wahoo"?   

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 03, 2013 at 9:06 pm

It has been repeatedly demonstrated how the former mascot, aka our own little dancing chief wahoo, is racist. You have not even responded to my summary of the argument here, that it is arrogant cultural appropriation based on racist noble savage mythos surrounding Indians in much of north American culture.

The failure is of your imagination and empathy, not of the untold number of explanations you have made yourself impervious to. You remain willfully unconvinced and I suspect that nothing could convince you that your beloved icon is a racist shame.

Refusal to consider changing your position is not an honest debate. Your calls for endlessly debating it are thus disingenuous and pretty clearly meant to obfuscate and distract.

Tom Napier wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 pm

"It has been repeatedly demonstrated how the former mascot, aka our own little dancing chief wahoo, is racist."

I'll make a point which has not been made before in these postings.  Please respond to it directly.

The current Chief Illiniwek is a Native American.  What are you calling him?

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 7:06 am

See, that's your problem right there. There is no current Chief Illiniwek. Chief Illiniwek is history.

Now, there might be a guy in a suit somewhere *claiming* to be the current Chief Illiniwek, but he might as well claim to be Batman.

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 9:06 am

No, not at all..

I would consider myself "proficent" at the tradition.  The new "chief in exile" as I refer to him, has been selected by a group of his peers..  Thus by peer review, they are accepted..  The heart of it lives in those who will not forget... In the "next dance" events, the organizers I have seen have even invited those against the tradition to speak for their respective charities... It exists as it always has, in the hearts of those who believe in it.  

And hey, leave batman out of this ;) 

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 12:06 pm

In other words, some unofficial Council of Batmans has picked someone as their current Batman, someone who has absolutely no official status with the university or even the athletic association he wants to paint his face and do a Boy Scout dance for. 

There was a time I thought the Chief was a good idea. Heck, there was even a time when I bought the lie that his dance was "authentic." 

It ain't.

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Spang,

Moreover, to batman, it would be alike all those who have played batman (though that number IS numerous) would get together to decide who would carry on the "mantle of batman" after it was banned.  Your anaolgy partially works, however, I have not seen a banning of batman, as much as "Batman and Robin" might have demanded it.. :P

It is done (again, I have no affiliation whatsover, however again through my readings of their reasons) in an effort to save and educate those about what they stand for, and why there are important, and what they did.  

You bring in the "fancy dance", however, you neglect to understand that was developed by Webber Borchers and Bill Newton (most especially the latter, as he toldme in a 2005 interview), during their visits to the Oglala in the late 20's.

Mr. Borchers actually was sponsored during the depression by a businessman (I thought his business was something to do with beds?  I would have to look up my phone interview transcript), who paid them to visit the tribe to learn.  

Indeed, a number of the portrayers actually visited the tribe and learned from the people's.  It was modified, yet anything when working to make something unique should be, utliziling information and lore they knew.

He first performed for the World Jamboree in Europe with the "fancy dance" as it was called.  This was something that took a great deal of thought and consideration. Not only was the intent positive, it was something that evolved with time and worked to become more in-line with the Oglala traditions.  Again, I will concede this was not what the inoka (the true group that the "illiniwek" term came), nor the "illini" confederation, of which the peoria were a part.  However, it was an original work, in itself I argue art.  It is something that did evolve, and continues to.

Tom Napier wrote on June 04, 2013 at 11:06 pm

"You bring in the "fancy dance", however, you neglect to understand that was developed by Webber Borchers and Bill Newton (most especially the latter, as he toldme in a 2005 interview), during their visits to the Oglala in the late 20's ..."

They will never acknowledge the Oglala's contribution to the Chief tradition over the decades. 

I will refer everyone interested to Judge Garippo's "Dialog on Chief Illiniwek ..." and his discussion on the origins of the tradition.  The description of the Fancy Dance is especially informative.  Let's see who bothers to read it and who doesn't.

However, the UI and Board of Trustees seem to have deleted this report from their websites.  I won't speculate as to the motivation.  I've copied it, so if you can't find it elsewhere on the web, please let me know. 

 

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Spang,

Moreover, to batman, it would be alike all those who have played batman (though that number IS numerous) would get together to decide who would carry on the "mantle of batman" after it was banned.  Your anaolgy partially works, however, I have not seen a banning of batman, as much as "Batman and Robin" might have demanded it.. :P

It is done (again, I have no affiliation whatsover, however again through my readings of their reasons) in an effort to save and educate those about what they stand for, and why there are important, and what they did.  

You bring in the "fancy dance", however, you neglect to understand that was developed by Webber Borchers and Bill Newton (most especially the latter, as he toldme in a 2005 interview), during their visits to the Oglala in the late 20's.

Mr. Borchers actually was sponsored during the depression by a businessman (I thought his business was something to do with beds?  I would have to look up my phone interview transcript), who paid them to visit the tribe to learn.  

Indeed, a number of the portrayers actually visited the tribe and learned from the people's.  It was modified, yet anything when working to make something unique should be, utliziling information and lore they knew.

He first performed for the World Jamboree in Europe with the "fancy dance" as it was called.  This was something that took a great deal of thought and consideration. Not only was the intent positive, it was something that evolved with time and worked to become more in-line with the Oglala traditions.  Again, I will concede this was not what the inoka (the true group that the "illiniwek" term came), nor the "illini" confederation, of which the peoria were a part.  However, it was an original work, in itself I argue art.  It is something that did evolve, and continues to.

Tom Napier wrote on June 04, 2013 at 10:06 pm

"See, that's your problem right there. There is no current Chief Illiniwek. Chief Illiniwek is history.

Now, there might be a guy in a suit somewhere *claiming* to be the current Chief Illiniwek, but he might as well claim to be Batman."

 

Trust me.  There is a current Chief Illiniwek.  Do you know who he is?  Do you know anything about him?

Tom Napier wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Chicago Blackhawks:  Just fine.  Perhaps their support of the American Indian Center in Chicago will be of interest to you.  Please take a break and look it up.  Please let me know if you would like some references and I'll post them for you.  While you're researching the 'Hawks, you might also note the graphics on Ray Emery's helmet.  I've made reference to him before, which has been ignored. 

Redskins:  That term is neutral without a context; it has no connotation one way or another.  There is nothing inherenetly offensive about that word.  If it is used as a simple description, it's fine.  It's the same as describing me as a "white guy."  That said, if it is accompanied by an insult (i.e "filthy redskin") that's different.  However, it's the adjective "filthy" that's offensive, same as it would be by saying "filthy white guy" or, as you say,  "privileged white guy."

Washington Redskins:  Intellectually, I find nothing offensive because of the neutrality of the term in and of itself.  That said, I think it's somewhat objectionable in that it's a blanket description that does not distinguish among the many cultures of Native Americans.  That said, if an extraterrestrial were to report that the earth was inhabitated by "humans" without regard to race or culture, I would take no personal offense.  Would you?

If I were described as a "baseball fan" I would get really cheesed off because that term would also describe a Cardinals Fan, and that's hostile and abusive.  Call me a Cubs fan, and nothing else, or I'll be offended.

Now I have a couple for you:

What are your views on the term Polak?

What are your views on the team name All Blacks?

 

 

 

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Also, I have learned about "Maroons" which refers to many a thing... even the "swamp people" of the east coast.. escaped slaves... resilient and fighting to survive.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maroons

Now, mostly used as a color or bear.  Should it be removed?

Tom Napier wrote on June 04, 2013 at 10:06 pm

"Now I have a couple for you:

What are your views on the term Polak?

What are your views on the team name All Blacks?"

 

I don't see any response to my questions.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 03, 2013 at 10:06 am

Nah, Spangwurfelt had a comment appear out of place thanks to the byzantine software running this site, and since this site won't let you delete your own posts, I zeroed out the one in the wrong place.

So be careful not to throw out your shoulder by patting your own back too hard there, guy.

 

Bheller wrote on June 03, 2013 at 12:06 pm

On a nice note, I do wish to commend you for the use of the "byzantine" comment.  Very clever and humorous.

 

 

Illiniwek222 wrote on June 03, 2013 at 5:06 pm

"Now we're being told that a few alums here and there, and the Elba Council of Exiled Chiefs, are trying to create a new mascot who is, if not the racist Chief caricature they clearly wouldn't mind reinstating if given a chance"


Seriously, spangwurst?? Did any of Bheller's posts sink in? A little give and take, perhaps.


 

spangwurfelt wrote on June 03, 2013 at 6:06 pm

How about you, Illiniwek? Are you happy with a 20% racist Chief Lite? If not, which direction would you move the 20% figure?

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 9:06 am

Sorry to jump in.. however.. conceding does not mean you were wrong, it means that you are willing to work with others.. Compromise is a sign of strength...

Not weakness.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 12:06 pm

"conceding does not mean you were wrong"

If you want the consession to be utterly morally empty, that is.

That's what people have started calling a "gingrich": a non-apology apology of the form "I'm sorry if you were [inexplicably] offended by the perfectly fine and completely perfect thing I did."

Bheller wrote on June 04, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Better put, in a discussion conceding a point, or better wording, a compromise on a point..

It means "okay, we ahve to move fowrad, I don't agree with you about this, and you with me on this... what is the middle ground?"

Illiniwek222 wrote on June 04, 2013 at 10:06 am

Not sure where you got the 20%, spangwurst, as I don't consider the Chief to be racist.


But, moving on, Disney made an animated movie called Pocahontas. Have you seen it? Is it racist? The actress that sings as Pocahontas is not Native American. Does that make it more or less racist in your mind?


Remember the highly praised anti-littering PSA from the 70's with the tearful chief? Was that racist?  It turns out the actor playing the chief was Italian, not Native American. Thoughts?


Have you ever driven a Pontiac? Pontiac used to have a model called the Star Chief. How about a Jeep Cherokee?? I'm sure you have an opinion. Let's hear it.


 


 

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 12:06 pm

"Not sure where you got the 20%, spangwurst, as I don't consider the Chief to be racist."

That's why nobody's particularly impressed when you, and people like you, set yourself up to determine New Chief Chiefiness won't be racist. If you couldn't see it in the Chief, how could you possibly see it in Chief Chief-around-the-edges?

Illiniwek222 wrote on June 04, 2013 at 12:06 pm

No reply to the above questions?

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Musta missed the part of the movie where Pocahontas did the splits to ersatz "Indian" marching band music in the middle of a football field wearing Boy Scout facepaint. Could you point me to that scene, please? I guess I had gone out for popcorn or something.

The key difference between "Pocahontas" and the Chief is that in 1995 Disney was determined to honor Native Americans in their portrayal, while those who cobbled up Chief Illiniwek in the 1920s were only about yukking it up at halftime with a racist caricature no more defensible than "Charlie Chan" or "Stepin Fetchit" or, as I've mentioned elsewhere, "Jud Süss." Then, when the racism became too apparent to ignore in the mid-70s, they started feeding everyone a defense line about "he's a symbol, not a mascot" - a distinction without a difference - and "we chose a Chief to show our dee-e-e-ep respect to the Native Americans" when you know that was the last thing on the minds of the guys in the facepaint a-doin' a Boy Scout dance in 1926.

So now you're saying: let's take the banned-for-its-racism mascot, and subtract the Hollywood facepaint, and subtract the goofy white-boy-pretend-him-heap-big-injun dance, and subtract the any-tribe-will-do costume, and subtract the not-white-boy-me-heap-big-chief-look-um-feathers headdress, and have some guy JUST STAND THERE twice a year at football games. And that will be a really great symbol. We could call him Chiefly Waiting-For-A-Bus.

SaintClarence27 wrote on June 04, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Shouldn't it be more Champaign-y? Like Chief No Mixed Income in My Neighborhood?

Illiniwek222 wrote on June 04, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Not a complete response from spangwurst, but I guess that's all he's got.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on June 04, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Even Charlie Sheen knows that steadfastly maintaining willful ignorance and clumsily calling for endless fake debate is not winning.

spangwurfelt wrote on June 04, 2013 at 5:06 pm

But "I guess" that calling for endless fake debate "is all he's got."