After eleven years without a team mascot, The University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is in the process of adopting a new one. In 2007, Chief Illiniwek was retired, after decades of heated debate with the NCAA over whether their representation of Illiniwek was hostile and abusive to the indigenous American Indians. I understand both sides. I know how much it hurts after being called a Chinky Chinky Gook Celestial Nip a few times. I also know that it is more important to preserve the integrity of a copyrighted logo over the dignity of a race. As we are all well aware, this is how privileged people do. There is no morality when it comes to making money.
For their despicable actions of denigrating a proud culture, there are only two fair logical solutions for the University of Illinois to consider. One, they should not be allowed a mascot with a very heavy handed asterisk beside their name, which indicates that it is an act of atonement for the improper cultural appropriation of images and rituals as well as the negative perpetuation of a stereotype.
Or two, let the council of Native Americans chose the new mascot. If this is the case, I hope to God they propose something to the tune of one named Honky Honky. He should be a clumsy, obviously grumpy white overweight octogenarian with an extreme overbite donning a backwards cap with wheat growing out of his nose and ears. He should constantly be criticizing people of color. When he dances, he cannot have any sense of rhythm.
I find myself saying this often, and it’s sad, but in a perfect world, which this is not; far from it, in fact it’s so horrible, so very horrible, The University of Illinois should pay for their insistence on doing the wrong thing. Instead, they will have a new mascot, which will probably be as insensitive as the previous one. To paraphrase two of the biggest idiots in history, sad nothing burgers.