Chief Illiniwek, Sundry

Toly, the labrats, and Westmont Girl

To the editor:

I have a simple question that I would like anyone who is pro-Chief to answer. Who are we as Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, etc…. to say whether or not the Chief is a racist mascot/symbol in the eyes of Native Americans? Did any of us grow up on their reservation? Did any of us grow up in their culture? Did any of us grow up in their traditions? Did any of us grow up in their footsteps? If you answered no to any of these questions, then I ask again, who are we as black, whites, Latinos, Asians, etc…., to say whether or not the Chief is a racist mascot/symbol in the eyes of Native Americans?

Jules Murray, Jr.
sophomore in LAS
Daily Illini letters,
3 April, 1998

Interestingly enough, it is the anti-Chief folks who use the word racist, so aside from Charlene Teters and all the other Native Americans who take offense at the Chief, Chief protesters might ask themselves the same question. Personally, I’m uncomfortable with the catchily short slogan “racist mascot” and think of the Chief more as being ignorantly offensive … is black face racist, or just dumb? Same thing. The intent of the Chief is arguably quite honorable – Chief isn’t setting out to denigrate Native Americans, it simply does because it’s really just a bad idea.

Fri Apr 3 21:08:14 CST 1998

So this weekend is our family celebrating Easter a week early. Some family members are going to be out of town, and Jessy moving to Texas, so … well, this weekend it is. I hope I don’t have damned head-winds driving back and forth this time. they really mess up my fuel efficiency.

Last night I had insomnia. Linda emailed me around 0300h saying she had pink-eye … we considered driving over to Carle but it seemed impractical .. mainly it was too irritating for her to get to sleep, poor girl, and her voice was getting hoarse. I considered if I couldn’t get to sleep I’d give her a call and we could hang out and watch a movie, maybe fall asleep … conveniently though, I fell asleep by myself. I hope Linda fared well.

At 1700h we had a labsitters meeting. Don explained that there were certain problems rearing their heads, and what he wanted done about them. Me and Toly ate together at Cantina afterwards, a specialty restaurant run through the dorms which is cheaper than Murphy’s where we first considered going. You just have to stand in line a long while, which reminded Toly of Russia. It’s nice to talk to Toly coz we have plenty of things we disagree upon even though we basically agree on everything … it’s kind of like we’re of like mind, only with different semantic conclusions. He tends toward being Libertarian, where I’m just a good, old-fashioned Liberal kinda guy, who sympathizes with Libertarianism, even if I strongly disagree with a lot of it. I love to exchange views with the opposition.

Maureen just dropped by the lab, and I was talking to her for awhile. She just got back from working in a soup kitchen, and she said she was talking to this guy who smelled of beer, and so she wanted to shower. It was nice to talk to her … I think for both of us. This all hints at some larger stuff I’ve been working out in my mind, that doesn’t/won’t quite make it here into the journal.

Thinking too much. I told her I’d be down here working on computer stuff if she wanted to step out later. She said she planned to study – three exams next week!

Still, perhaps I could call her later, maybe invite her out to the Etc. for a little while.

Okay, clearing my thoughts. Time to take a break!

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