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August 06, 2005

you, in the headdress, put the tomahawk down and come with us

The Florida Seminole Tribe is insufficiently offended. This, according to the non-Native American NCAA Executive Committee which has decided to ban the Florida State University Seminoles mascot, and many others, from appearances in post-season tournament play because they have been deemed to be “hostile or abusive.”

Explaining the logic of banning a mascot expressly permitted by the Native American tribe it portrays, Charlotte Westerhaus, the NCAA vice president for diversity and inclusion said “Other Seminole tribes are not supportive.” This would include the Oklahoma Seminoles who are noted for being passionately and overwhelmingly not based in Florida.

Some don’t believe the NCAA went far enough. Vernon Bellecourt, a member of the Anishinabe-Ojibwe Nation felt the measure only went halfway. (A quick Google didn’t find any university “Fighting Anishinabe-Ojibwes.”)

And not all Indian mascots are banned. The North Carolina-Pembroke Braves are exempted because over 20% of the student body is American Indian suggesting that mascots can only be culturally hostile and abusive from a distance but are okay up close. Also, some schools using the “Warriors” nickname would be excused since they do not use Indian imagery as part of their logo. (It is not known however whether a school could get away with naming themselves, “The Fighting Casino Owners.”)

The controversy creates the potential that other aggrieved groups might call for the banning of additional mascots. There are, for instance, the Barry University Buccaneers. Unless the school can demonstrate a sufficiently large pirate population this strikes us as being culturally insensitive to our swashbuckling friends.

In fact those of us here at Planet Moron being of partly Greek ancestry just realized we are highly offended that Michigan State has raided our proud culture by using a clearly racist caricature of a Spartan as their mascot. 

Not only that, but we lay claim to even greater amounts of Irish ancestry which brings up the issue of Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” mascot that suggests we’re just a bunch of drunken fools.

And if we weren’t so hung over we’d do something about it, too.


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August 6, 2005 at 02:31 PM in Sports | Permalink


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You know, I don't think either side is happy with the NCAA's handling of this one. Personally, I'm all for the phasing out of Indian mascots in college sports, but think the NCAA's "rules" are completely, um, moronic. And I also doubt whether they even have authority here. I wrote my own post on this last night, but really enjoyed your take on the issue.

Posted by: Alison | Aug 6, 2005 5:50:23 PM

Obligatory pedantic note: do you know what the word "Seminole" means, and how long a tribal history it has?

Well, actually, it's not a tribe and never was. "Seminole" means "runaway". Which counts in their favor, btw. When the brutal oppressive white man (no irony in this passage) was rounding up the Cherokees and other indigenous peoples of the Carolinas and Georgia and encouraging them to relocate to a fenced in patch of dirt in Oklahoma, some of these ingrates ran away.

They ran to the swamps of Florida where the previously indigenous peoples had either died of swamp rot or at the hands of Spanish-speaking more-or-less white men (depending on where you place Spaniards, the Euro kind) and were gone.

So, Florida's native population of native americans is not at all native to Florida, but I'm still on their side.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 6, 2005 11:36:48 PM

Another real goodie!

Posted by: DOD | Aug 8, 2005 8:15:36 AM

"And if we weren’t so hung over we’d do something about it, too."
I was listening to AirAmerica today (I know, but you should try it sometimes. Every once in a while they make a good point, but it is funny) and the host sitting in for a vacationing Jerry Springer and discussing the NCAA ruling noted the “Fighting Irish” and stated that, “I don’t know if any of the Irish would be offended by this; but I can tell you that there is the derogatory “M” word.”

“M” word???… I laughed and laughed.
I assumed that this “M” word was for “Mick”.

Geesh J
Irish and Greek…
It would be tough to match you pint for pint.

Posted by: PogueMahone | Aug 9, 2005 6:40:08 PM

Uzo and Guinness. That will put some hair on your chest.

And don't apologise for listening to Air America. We've been subscribing to The Nation here for years. Also Reason. And from time to time, the National Review and the Utne Reader.

We have one confused mailman.

Posted by: planetmoron | Aug 9, 2005 7:26:31 PM

That's coincidental. My wife subscribes to The Nation and I subscribe to Reason, trading rags by the nightstand (wait... that didn't come out right... wait, that didn't either). We get solicitations by everyone from the ACLU to Tom DeLay...
And along with our monthly subscription to the American Bee Journal,
We too have a very confused mailman.

Posted by: PogueMahone | Aug 9, 2005 8:57:34 PM

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