Goodbye, Chief Illiniwek!
The University of Illinois has at long last retired its
Mascot Honored Symbol.
That’s awesome! My Alma Mater made a significant contribution to the modern Internet, but culturally speaking, we are still dragging ourselves kicking and screaming into the latter half of the twentieth century, when
we the civilized world figured out that it was somewhat rude to use other peoples’ cultures to “honor” our sports rituals. Some of our fine White People took great offense when told that they must endure the shackles of political correctness. They responded that it was incorrect to call the Native American Mascot a Mascot, that the preferred nomenclature was that Chief Illiniwek is an Honored Symbol, following an Honorable Tradition, wherein the Illini people from whom our state took its name would be remembered by having a White Guy an Eagle Scout who is 1/8 Native American perform an exaggerated Lakota “war dance” during the half time performance at sports games. What better Honored Tradition could we possibly maintain for these people? (A Native American Studies Program or a Museum? Boring! You liberals love your museums and cultural programs–get down from your ivory towers and get with the team!)
The argument against retiring the
Hollow Hallowed Symbol is that a lot of alumni would get freaked out and stop contributing money to the campus. That always struck me as silly . . . but just to be sure, I have been stingily holding back from giving anything until we adopted a new mascot Honored Symbol. Right? If some alumni are going to stop giving when the Chief goes away, then other alumni ought to be waiting for the Chief to go away before they give.
Guess I get to pay up . . .