Executive Speech Writing: Corporate, Celebrity, Fundraisers

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chief Illiniwek is Dying - Killed by His Own People

I had a coffee dilemma. Ran out at home. I had forgotten how different the cost of four cups made at home is versus one large bought at Intelligentsia. I'll buy a pick me through the day, but two days in a row I had to buy some on my way to the corner.

Luckily, it was warm. I bought it for flavor and taste, not heat.

I've heard the sad news of Mary Smith and the fires. I don't know her, or if she's guilty, but I see enough homeless people in the streets that cause me concern for their well-being. I'm thankful for the homeless shelters. I've never stayed in one, but I have been close to needing one if not for friends who took me in during dire times.

The homeless situation is complicated, with different reasons for each person, but I can tell you that those without homes are as gentle as those with homes. See what you can do to help those who are helping the homeless.

The News
Illinois retires American Indian mascot

I have been following this story for years. You know Chief Illinwek. He is the mascot of the University of Illinois. Dances his one man show at all games. No longer. A few Indians felt offended.

Hogwash.

Next comes the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and Lake Michigan -- all named after Indians.

One more step like this, and we'll take away their casinos.

What will happen is that, in five years, the heat will subside, and those looking to promote the Illiniwek will lose their key mascot. While not officially theirs, but U of I's, his presence provides them a forum to pivot from. Follow the news on the matter on the Chief Illiniwek blog.

This is not to diminish the concerns American Indians have regarding losing their culture. The Irish have this. The Hungarians have this. The Jews have this. All small people groups do. Everyone, sometime, was conquered. Such were the American Indians. I wasn't here. Don't blame me. I read the stories. It wasn't pretty. Early agreements were broken. Lies. Racism. Murder. I know.

I won't call them Native Americans, because I was born here too, and, after all, they came from some other place before settling in the United States. Besides, that's generalizing enough as it is, as they were all part of small tribes and nations. Call them Cherokee. Call them Sioux. Call them Pawnee. Fine. Not Native Americans. What would Amerigo Vespucci think?

We named America after an Italian guy. We named St. Louis after a Frenchie. We named Oak Park after a tree. No trees have argued that we have offended them. The French don't like us, but St. Louis isn't why. The jury is still out with the Italians. One of their own, a guy named Rudy, wants to become president.

Wheaton College cowered and dumped their team name, going from Crusaders to Thunder. Even though the name had nothing to do with the crusaders who were part of the Crusades, and more to do with the concept of living a godly life, with a nod toward peaceful evangelistic crusades (like a tent revival) like Billy Graham's or Billy Sunday's.

Impressively, DePaul is keeping the name, Blue Demons, using some lame justification that demons aren't always demons. I think their excuse was that an old logo looked like a devil. In a church filled with scandal, you would think the leaders would want to project something more spiritual. This could be why to most people, DePaul is a secular school, where the Catholic connection is irrelevant. Too bad. The scandals are because of what the church stands for, but for what they don't.

Try some coffee.

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