Keep school’s logo

So the University of North Dakota has been forced by both the NCAA and a new North Dakota state law to change the school’s current logo, the Fighting Sioux. Critics have found the moniker to be demeaning and racist.

OK, maybe the logo and name were politically incorrect. I can understand that. But what about other sports teams? Notre Dame gets by with its nickname, the Fighting Irish, represented by a leprechaun-type character with fists raised in a menacing stance as their mascot. Isn’t that offensive to people of Irish lineage? And the Florida State Seminoles keep tooling right along with their logo featuring a Native American complete with war paint. Isn’t that stereotypically racist?

To me, the real culprits are the professional sports teams who seem to be getting free passes at ridiculing the American Indian culture. The Cleveland Indians baseball team blatantly displays a warrior caricature with rodent-sized teeth and a jeering smile on their baseball caps and uniforms. Most egregious — to me, at least — is the name of the Washington, D.C., pro football team — the Washington Redskins. Would society tolerate a sports team based on other skin colors? The Blackskins? The Yellowskins? The Brownskins? The Whiteskins? I doubt it.

I think UND is being wrongfully singled out for punishment here, and I can’t understand why. I’m not a UND alumnus; I’ve never even stepped foot onto their campus. I do recall, however, that a Native American helped design their current logo in the early 1930s and that one area tribe still finds it acceptable. The Fighting Sioux emblem to me portrays nobility and pride, not a mockery of the Indian culture so obvious in the above examples.

Political correctness has its place, but why go after just one institution (which by the way will be spending close to a million dollars erasing all traces of the Fighting Sioux logos from their school: uniforms,, stationery, websites, pennants, engraved tile and metal) when other schools and professional teams are being allowed to carry on with their own questionable symbols.

Dean Bishop,
Austin

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