Full disclosure: I did not attend junior high school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, having moved there prior to my junior year of high school. It’s a beautiful city for about eight months a year until the lengthy Ozark winters make you feel as if you’re living in the Canadian Rockies. A coach from Oshkosh, Wisconsin once told me winters were far worse in Northwest Arkansas because they were wetter than where he was from where most precipitation stayed in a powder form.
I spent almost as much time in that area as I have in my home state here, having only “camped out” in the other area codes along the way.
That said, it burns me to no end to see a few – I believe they’re called “snowflakes” – get their way because of a mayor, city council and school board that appear as if they were hand-picked by Nancy Pelosi herself. Aside from having the most flawed downtown parking system known to mankind, the city has fast become something of a Berkeley, California wannabe in its neck of the woods, what with its tree-hugging, extreme sign ordinance and extreme liberalism attitude.
The latest regards a change of the junior high school mascots. Ramay Junior High has always been the Indians. Woodland Junior High has always been the Cowboys. But, apparently a newcomer to the school spoke against the names and tradition has flown out the window. “A race is not a mascot,” said the female student.
My first thought: WHY NOT?
It pays homage to the people, such as Yankees who made New York the greatest city in the world, or Angels for Los Angeles, which I’m sure will be brought down soon because it could offend some atheists.
The Walmart influence on the population of Northwest Arkansas has meant an abundance of “outsiders” moving into the area, so tradition means next to nothing to many of them. Maybe they’ll change the university’s mascot from a Razorback because calling the hogs is offensive to, well, you know... and pigs, who shouldn’t have their Saturdays interrupted because a bunch of fans decided to call them in unison.
In a 4-3 vote, the decision of the Fayetteville school board was to change the name to not reference a sect of people. Let’s just call it No. 1 and No. 2, but will that offend those at school No 2 because they’re not No. 1? Maybe one can be School 1 and the other School A. Oh, wait, we can’t use numbers because they’re Arabic and that could be offensive.
As for the Indian reference, I go back to late Auburn basketball coach Tommy Joe Eagles, who, during the debate of the early 1990s regarding the use of Native American nicknames as mascots, said speaking for him and his friends – he was a Native American – Indians and Braves brought a sense of pride to them.
Maybe the Braves will go the way of Chief Noc-A-Homa. But where will it end?
Will we eventually have to rename each state because as best I can tell Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming all derived from Indian names. Alabama (Tuscaloosa), North Carolina and Oklahoma would have a heck of a time renaming its cities and counties. (Don’t worry, Crazy Bernie will print trillions of dollars to pay for the change.)
We’d have to do away with Indian Motorcycles, and you better not show any John Wayne cowboy movies or you could be labeled.
I guess I’ll just forget I ever went fishing on the Black Warrior River as a child.
And how about cheering for Elephants and Tigers? Do we not understand that animals can be offended too?
I could go on, but I need to get my participation trophy and go home.