Southeast Missouri State University is making the national news because the school is joining a list of 30 other colleges who, over the past decade, have dropped the Indian mascot from their sports programs. The university is currently accepting suggestions from fans, alumni and supporters on a proper new nickname for their sports teams.
I personally couldn't care less!
As have many others, I suggest they become the SEMO Chickens or the Spineless Jellyfish. Their attempt to avoid demeaning native Americans by ending the Indian tradition is a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived problem with no basis in fact. In short, they have become part of a movement to eliminate some notion of offensive words that harm no one. They should be ashamed of themselves.
The SEMO Indian name was originally a positive nod to the early inhabitants of this region and those who sacrificed much in the pioneer days of this nation. They have never used the Indian mascot in some negative manner or used an offensive caricature to place native Americans in a negative light.
But our zealous quest for political correctness has reared its ugly head. Were a vote to be taken of those who have walked the halls of the university, the Indian would remain. But a few voices of descent have won the battle. How sad that truly is.
Don Dickerson, board of regent president and a respected Cape Girardeau attorney, isn't too happy with the name change. Dickerson said he is troubled because he sees nothing demeaning about using the Indian name. And he's right. But right is a relative term and the politically correct crowd will win this battle.
So SEMO will join the list of those who seek no offense to any culture even if no offense is meant. They'll likely adopt an animal mascot of some sort. And that will work until some future day when animal rights' activists mount a campaign to remove the negative image of the tiger or the eagle or the ferret. Then we'll be back to square one.