On today's show, Bobbo's first story "From a Christian Perspective" was the retiring of Chief Illiniwek as the mascot for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . Bobbo expressed disappointment because the Chief's costume was "neat." Bob whined that the Chief's forced retirement was the product of political correctness and that Native Americans don't have a "bona fide" complaint about the symbol. In fact, Bobbo claimed that nobody should be offended by the Chief because the use of Native American symbols as mascot is a compliment! Bobbo thinks the use of Native American symbols celebrates Native American culture!
Excuse me? Since when is Bob Dutko the arbiter of what is or isn't offensive to Native Americans? And what authority gives Bob the right to tell people when they should or shouldn't be offended?
Let's look at some reasons why Native Americans might be offended by the usurpation of their symbols.
- Sacred objects, such as eagle feathers, traditional dress, and drums are religious symbols to Native Americans. Using them out of the proper context is sacrilegious.
- The mascots are stereotypes. There are at least 561 officially recognized tribes in the United States, with more petitioning for recognition. Reducing them to a symbol for a sports team is simplistic at best, blatantly ignorant at worst.
- Use of these mascots is racist. The term "Redskin" comes from the bloody mess left from the scalping of Native Americans for a bounty. The term "Chief" ignores the important roles that women and children have in many Native American community.
Of course, Bob ignores all of this and condescends to Native Americans, telling them that they have no reason to be offended. What an arrogant ass.
Since Bob thinks mascots celebrate culture, let me make a suggestion. Let the new mascot for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign be the Fighting Jesuses. This new mascot can be dressed in a long robe and sandals with the obligatory long hair and stigmata. When the UICU wins, Jesus can run around the stadium smiting the opposing team. When they lose, they can stage a little mock crucifixion.
It'll all be in good fun. And since none of it is offensive (at least by Bob's standards) Bobbo will have little reason to complain.
Why do I have the feeling Bob wouldn't approve?