Tuesday, May 07, 2002
I'm beginning to think that states like Washington and Texas that have two year budgets and shortened legislative sessions would be a very good thing for California. When legislators have too much time on their hands they have to find something to do. Generally that something is not constructive.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that California legislators are considering legislation that would ban all Indian names from California public high schools and colleges. But the plan doesn't stop there.
Also affected are any mascots who happen to represent people. Included are the L.A.-area schools Alhambra Moors, the Beverly Hills Normans, and the Loara Saxons.
Also included in the list would be my alma mater, the Helix Highlanders.
Last year, San Diego State University decided to keep their Aztec mascot, but got rid of the Monty Montezuma logo. The decision was largely unpopular among the public and SDSU alumni. Instead of the Monty Montezuma with flaming spear that would rile the crowd before football games, SDSU now has Ambassador Montezuma who wears a $12,500 costume and goes around to area elementary schools talking about Aztec culture -- apparently minus the human sacrifices.
Of course, this isn't enough for some people. The San Diego Union-Tribune [article not available online] quoted Manny Lieras, president of the Native American Student Alliance as saying: "What the hell is this? This is horrible. . . . This guy is no different than what we had before."
For most people who aren't part of the wacko-left, there is a big difference between the two, but that's not good enough for extremists like Lieras.
I must have been so naive when I went to high school. Actually, I must be naive now, because I'm still not offended by the fact that I went to a high school that apparently mocked my Scottish heritage. I should have been exceedingly distraught by the fact that the drum major thrust a claymore into the ground before the start of football games. I should've been outraged by the fact that the school actually has a bagpipe band.
The truth is that no school, with the notable exception of UC Santa Cruz, picks a mascot so that it may be mocked. Generally, mascots are chosen because they represent honor, valor and bravery.
I would hate to see the Highlander go the way of Monty Montezuma.
The Los Angeles Times speculates that the bill is facing little opposition because elected representatives are afraid of offending the state's Indian tribes and their huge campaign cash clout.
Unfortunately, it's highly unlikely that legislators who support the politically correct bill will face any repercussions. I hope that I'm wrong and that alumni of targeted schools get mad and have their voices heard, but I won't hold my breath.
After all, if the Highlanders go. Maybe the Patrick Henry High School mascot will have to go too.
A Patriot is a person too.