Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let the Chief go...

I have to hold true to my word, so here in this week of the most important election of our lives, comes a rant...

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, local Politicians and other members of the Champaign/Urbana/University Community,

The Chief is not coming back. The NCAA has ruled against the Chief. That is final.

To the Registered Student Organization trying to reinstate the Chief: stop. Your collective efforts can be better spent on something more relevant. Maybe we can help the homeless or give local children the education they deserve, instead of being a bunch of snotty middle-upper class white kids who want their Indian Chief back. (I know this is a generalization, but facts can back up this statement.)

To the local politicians who include "reinstating the Chief" in their platforms: stop. We get that you're trying to appeal to the student demographic, but the Chief is not a political issue. This is by far the lamest campaign promise I have ever heard, and again, there are more pressing issues at hand than a damn mascot.

It is for our own benefit that the Chief has been removed. The controversy surrounding the Chief has gone on since before many of you were born. It's no longer about who is right and who is wrong, it's giving our University (and state for that matter) a terrible reputation. The Chief is a symbol, just a symbol. An offensive one at that. I don't care if it doesn't offend you, or your Native American friends. It offended enough people. Multiple Native American organizations, as well as human and civil rights groups have called for the Chief's retirement over the years. I would like to think that as human beings we can respect the wishes of our neighbors, and voluntarily remove offensive material/activity from our campus. However, I assume incorrectly.

"It's a sense of pride," some say, "we're honoring the Native American culture!"

Not true. First of all the Chief is a misappropriation of multiple Native American tribes' traditions that perpetuate negative and incorrect assumptions and stereotypes of said people as a whole. It is an ignorant lack of respect. We've come a long way as a society to stand up against racism and prejudice, why can we not drop this whole thing and move on boggles my mind. I am scared for our future if this is how the majority feels. It is a sad state of affairs.

I know I've been wrong about a lot of things, but this is just ludicrous. To me it's like gay marriage: no one is being victimized except for those seeking freedom from ridicule and disgrace. So just stop. Give it up. Swallow your damn stupid pride, and let's move on.

Why waste your time on such a pointless effort when there are far more crucial issues we can spend our resources on? We're basically in a recession, poverty is on the rise, as is unemployment. Middle class families are losing their homes. We are losing troops by the handful in two pointless wars, not to mention the hundreds of innocent civilians. Global warming, abortion, civil rights... the list goes on and on. And we are worried about a mascot who dances at halftime. Really?


Jessica said...

While I was one of those who did not want to see the Chief go, I fully agree that is a waste of time/effort to try to reinstate him.

Yet I find great irony in a blog piece the preaches anti-racism sentiments, but posts a song with lyrics telling women to "shake their titties." There are several women who find references like that completely sexist and offensive. On the other hand, lots of men find it amusing, arousing, you name it.

Interpretation is everything. The issue comes when one can't respect another persons point of view. Constructive communication and action can't take place without a bit of "placing yourself in the others shoes" (to coin a cheesy clique)

Sidebar: that is why I really like Obama's dedication to talking with foreign leaders before bombing them. Might be futile, but at least you try.

PS: I love playing devil's advocate

Anonymous said...

you're an assclown. If you don't like the event, don't go. Let others be free to enjoy this event if they wish. A private group puts on a private event to raise money for worthy causes and you're going to "boycott"?

Ryan the Broham said...

In response to Jessica:

The South Park clip is a joke. Much of my blog involves humor. The Chief is not a joke. I think you're comparing apples to oranges here...

And to Anonymous:

Next time have the balls to identify yourself if you're going to call me an "assclown." And just like participants have the right to attend the event, I have the right to protest it. I'm not sure what "worthy causes" you are referring to (though I will look into it since I'm guessing you'll never read my blog again) but the ends don't justify the means here. I can't hold a KKK rally and justify it by donating proceeds to the American Cancer Society or PETA.

Before you call names, think next time.

Jessica said...

Has South Park ever made fun of Native Americans? (that is rhetorical. Using South Park as justification for anything is kinda silly---so is the word "assclown")

My point is that to me, the Chief was a symbol of honor and tradition. To others it was one of disrespect and a murderous history. To you, talking about women shaking their titties for votes is just another great South Park joke. To others it is degrading slander.

I feel that you're unwilling to recognize both sides of this. I respect your sentiments, but it doesn't seem that you (or assclown kid) can take your blinders off.