Tuesday, March 16, 2004

mascots and political correctness

Millersville has decided, with not much input (to their credit so they don't jump down my back although they have been for weeks since i published an editorial on it) from alumni, faculty, staff, and students, to change its mascot.

Allegedly, it's supposed to be a parrot. We're Marauders, which is a type of pirate.

Apparently, the Marauder pirate was too scary for children. They want the mascot to be approachable, not intimidating. I suspect they want (considering the budget crisis) to make some money off of the mascot by sending him (or her) out to events, birthday parties, etc. You cant send a Marauding pirate out.

This, of course, has caused uproar. Partially because the mascot wasn't to be revealed until October, our homecoming and the kickoff of Millersville's 150th Anniversary (which has its own drama and controversy surrounding it). Also, the coverage surrounding it in The Snapper may have not been totally fair and objective. The Snapper's official stance was we did not like the secrecy surrounding it. Most people didn't, judging from the mass of letters we got from students, staff, and alumni.

The whole point of this post however is political correctness. The Marauder is a pirate. Pirates rape and pillage. They're bloodthirsty, they kill people, they steal, they cheat. They're not nice people.

A parrot (btw, we're not changing the name, just the image, to be more friendlier) is much friendlier. See where I'm going?

There's been this trend lately in changing mascots because they're not PC. Frankly, I've had it with PC. It's nice to be nice and tolerant, yes, but there are limits. I understand that "Braves" or "Redskins" might appear racist (although not to me) but in reality, they're just names for teams. I don't buy into the idea that they steal the identity of any tribe or step on the graves and history of a people. Nor is changing a team name that may seem violent good either. I forget which basketball team did this, but it's been done.

Millersville's just fallen victim to the same thing.

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