Wednesday, March 27, 2002
MASCOT R NOT US
An bill that would ban Native American mascots and team names is circulating through various committees in the California state legislature. Introduced by Democrat Jackie Goldberg, a lesbian councilmember from Los Angeles, who gleefully enacts the agenda of the California Teachers Unions, the legislation reads:
"All public schools, community colleges, the California State University, and the University of California are prohibited from using any school or athletic team name, mascot, or nickname that is derogatory or discriminatory against any race, ethnicity, nationality or tribal group."
The legislation also specifically bans the following Native American team names, including "Redskins, Indians, Braves, Chiefs, Apaches, Comanches, or any other American Indian tribal name."
The San Diego State University Aztecs are now worried that their Monty Montezuma mascot (named for Montezuma II, an Aztec leader who was conquered by Hernando Cortes in the 16th Century) will be eliminated.
Aside from the almost obvious criticism of the bill as a case of political correctness gone too far, the bill should raise conservative hackles over the issue of localism. A Los Angeles councilmember should not be telling Podunk High School in Orange County what it can name its sports teams. The bill may also violate the First Amendment in some cases. Imagine a case where students at a public school vote on the names of their sports teams. How does the state government justify keeping certain (non-obscene) names are off limits? While I'm no legal scholar, this surely is an interesting area of law.
Perhaps some students at the University of Northern Colorado would object were their state to pass a similar ban. The Native American student organization became fed up with the use of Native American mascots, and thus created their own "Fightin' Whites" mascot for their intramural basketball team. Offensive? Possibly. But T-shirts bearing the "Fighting Whites" name and logo (a white guy in a suit and tie) are now in high demand.