Friday, April 08, 2005

A letter that I wrote in response to an opinion article in the Daily Northwestern, written in favor of keeping University of Illinois' mascot, Chief Illiniwek, was published today. The letter, which is linked to here, went as follows:

Tolles wrong on Illiniwek

What Bryan Tolles fails to acknowledge in his Thursday column in support of University of Illinois' mascot, Chief Illiniwek, is the opposition to the mascot undertaken by Native Americans themselves.

Using a Native American symbol for mere entertainment is similar to the use of African American actors or actors who donned "blackface" as pure entertainment in old-time minstrel shows. Maybe the audience of the minstrel show gained a greater knowledge of the existence of African Americans this way, much as Tolles claims Illinois fans gain a greater knowledge of Native Americans because of the Chief. But is exploiting an ethnic figure for pure entertainment value really the best way to gain such knowledge?

-- Elaine Meyer,

Weinberg junior

Now let's hope that John's letter in response to Howard W. Buffett's termination of his campaign for Associated Student Government (Northwestern's student council organization)'s Executive Vice President is printed next week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you still have John's letter? I'd love to know what he said. If not, do you remember what the premise was?