Sunday, February 26, 2012

Politically Incorrect

Sometimes I think I've lived too long and seen too much change. Some gradual change is healthy for a democracy such as ours. What we have experienced in my lifetime is radical. Of course the end of segregation was long overdue. The pendulum in government tends to swing from one extreme to the other without stopping in the middle much. For example:

My high school was the Renton Indians. Many place names have been changed as well as team mascots over the years. It was good that insensitive references were changed. But that wasn't enough. The stampede toward total correctness (by whose standards) has led to extremes the other direction. The South Dakota Fighting Sioux offended a portion of the Lakota Nation. It was deemed out of bounds by the NCAA.  My high School changed to another less sensitive logo as well.

The one that really frosts me though, is when Seattle University changed from a famous past as Chieftains, they changed to Redhawks. This ignored an era during the '50's when  Elgin Baylor was an all-American who went on to a successful career in the NBA. Last I heard he was General Manager of the San Diego NBA franchise. Following him was a double team of great players, the O'brian twins, Eddie and Johnny. Now where this gets me is that Chieftain is not a term exclusive to native Americans. It was used in ancient times to describe European tribal leaders. as well.

The Florida Seminoles used a tribal name native to a Florida tribe that apparently isn't as sensitive as the Ogalalla Sioux. Many cities and even states are named after either tribes or individual  Indians. So then I propose the following changes, in order to comply with whomever or what ever organization decreed these over reactions. Unelected, all.

First, Seattle must give up it's name since it was named after Chief Sealth. Sealth High School in Western Washington must also go. Wenatchee, Yakima, Spokane, Colville, Kenniwick, Wallula. Blackfoot, Idaho? Oh my.

Then there are states that are out of compliance as well. Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, North and South Dakota, Klamath Falls, Oregon, Utah (Ute tribe) All must go.

We could rename Seattle to Juan de Fuca, but then we would be mocking the Hispanics. I won't go on to try to identify each and every Native American city or state, but you can get the idea from what I've listed.. 

Basically, It is time we stepped back and took a long look at how far we have gone to placate each and every person or organization. First no way can you accomplish that chore, for what offends one group, challenging it will offend another. It's kind of like comedy. A comedian has to make fun of somebody or something which then will offend the target of the joke. The only ones that get away with that are the self-depreciating comics who make fun of themselves.

Even the Canadians are guilty. Perhaps even more than us. Saskatchewan, Kapuskasing, Ottawa, are not English Or French names either.  On top of all of these indignities, modern airplanes don't even have propellers.

So this square headed Norsk is signing off wishing that sanity would return or at least have that pendulum stop in the middle once in a while


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

The Other Side of Bayview said...

Aw gee Herb, we were proud of our high school Chief Sealth. We were also proud of the fact that our school was named after a famous Native American leader. For me the association had a positive influence on my life.

By the by Sealth is the correct spelling for the famous chief not Seattle. Seattle was chosen because we white folks could not pronounce the Chiefs name correctly!

Seems like a timely quote from the Chief himself:
"Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny."

How is that Herb? LOL

Norma Jean as lways