The Washington Post is so liberal that even the sports writers are politically correct. In Saturday's Post, columnist Mike Wise stumped for the University of Illinois to dump their traditional Chief Illiniwek mascot. To a sports reader in D.C., it's quickly obvious that Wise is also sympathetic to making the Washington Redskins dump their moniker next.
Wise begins in the most propagandistic way, comparing oafs favoring the tradition declaring they're going to become racists and do violence to Indians with an Indian activist who fears for her life. He suggested this was the biggest issue going in college athletics:
We get all lathered up because college football does not have a playoff system. We produce talk shows about gender equity. We want our student athletes paid, as if that will somehow right another NCAA wrong.
Yet when we come across the most serious and offensive issue on campus -- a hurtful reminder to a people of their grave mistreatment, a blatant misappropriation of their religious and spiritual practices -- we go into denial. A woman is physically threatened by a Neanderthal kid and we want to rail about the BCS again.
It's not much of a stretch, then, for Wise to suggest that if university administrators don't cry uncle to his wishes, they're in favor of any violence that may occur:
By refusing to retire the mascot, at some level the university's Board of Trustees tacitly condones the backlash on campus. Part of the message it sends students is that it's okay for them to feel persecuted for their belief in racial stereotyping. The subtext in keeping the Chief amounts to a code of acceptance.
The good news is that enough critical mass has formed to have the fake Indian eradicated.
Let's be clear: You can't use one ethnicity as a symbol and at the same time expect every student to be treated in an equal manner.
Wise thinks the Chief is dead, and relishes the idea that Republican congressmen who were objecting, among them Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois and Congressman Tim Johnson, a moderate Republican who represents the Champaign-Urbana area, aren't in the majority any more.