Dear Editor: When I read the headline about Wisconsin being a target-rich environment for people opposed to racially based mascots, I figured it was getting set to point out that our fair state harbors not only Indian team nicknames but also (based on a listing at MaxPreps) such "offensive" labels as Bishops, Fighting Cardinals and Popes (Catholics); Blackshirts (Italy); Buccaneers and Pirates (Caribbean); Coons; Cubans; Dons (Mafia); Elks (service clubs); Fighting Kellys and Irish (Ireland); Flying Dutchmen (Netherlands); Green Mountain Boys (New England, also boys); Highlanders (Scotland); Hurricanes and Thunder (meteorologists); Ledgers (accountants); Norse, Norsemen, Norskies, and Vikings (Scandinavia); Phoenix (Arizona); Rebels (southern U.S.); Spartans (Greece); Trojans and Fighting Trojans (Turkey); and Wizards (Hogwarts).
People who are determined to feel offended should have a field day here in the Badger State.
I’m sure that schools who foolishly believed they were honoring literal braves will find solace in the new array of mascots available to them, such as the Marshmallows, Sand&Gravel, and Snowflakes.
A. E. van Vogt wrote of a society where there were only two laws: (1) Don’t give offense. (2) Don’t take offense too easily. It worked wonderfully well. Of course, it was science fiction.
Richard S. Russell
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