If you are offended by college mascots then I have no other choice except to call you stupid. I've tried to understand and I've weighed all of the arguments and after all of the information has been distilled in the tiny pressure cooker that is my brain, I'm reduced to calling you stupid. Stupid.
You must first understand that this whole subject started for me at a younger age. I attended the now defunct Tolt High School in Carnation, WA. Our mascot was the Demon. Yes, we were the Tolt Demons. Did we think much of it? No. Did we make a big deal about it? No. Were we proud to have an original mascot? I don't think "proud" was a word used very frequently when describing our school, but we pretty much thought it was okay.
We had some Christians in our neck of the woods who petitioned for a long time to have the name changed. Apparently having Demons as the mascot was offensive to their spiritual sensibilities. I wasn't a Christian at the time, but looking back at it through the eyes of one all I can say is "stupid." My school's memory now is found in a display case maintained by a local historical society.
Now Native Americans (um...Indians to most people) are expressing their offense to the use of college mascots that use tribe names or wink in the direction of their fragile culture. It would appear that names like Redskins, Warriors, Braves, Indians, Seminoles, et al seem to negatively overshadow the new legacy to which they are aspiring, namely casinos and roadside trinket stands.
Because they can't continue to be angry about everything they just attack soft targets such as mascots in the name of protecting their culture.
Before you think that I can't possibly understand what the Native Americans are complaining about, allow me to give you a true illustration. Much of my family comes from Ireland and were Protestant. There is a heritage in my family that has experienced persecution because they would not bow to the Roman Catholic Church. They were Orangemen. Syracuse University uses the Orangemen as their mascot. In short the heritage that I admire and respect so much is reduced to this:
Am I offended? No.
Do you know why? Because it would be stupid.
Is the heritage of my family who were persecuted and finally moved to North America from Ireland properly represented by a giant orange with arms and legs? Um, probably not.
Everyone fundamentally forgets what mascots are for. You don't adopt a mascot because you hate it or want to demean it, you do it to get inspiration from the symbol you've adopted. It's true that it isn't always properly represented but that doesn't mean it is disrespected. Most of all, it doesn't mean YOU are disrespected.
I haven't heard a single person who cares that the Idaho mascot (Vandals) is now purely associated with the destruction and defacing of property instead of a Germanic Tribe that existed during the time of the Roman Empire. Because of this disparity it just exposes what we are truly being told is the only truth: Native American cultures must never be touched because they are more sacred than others...everyone else is up for grabs. Stupid.
Please, quit being stupid. Enjoy your heritage and culture and stop being so easily offended. Otherwise your new heritage will be that you're a bunch of crybabies.