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Whities rule names, too

Don Rogers

Grabbing a headline or two, and a spot on the 3Today Show for an editor at our sister paper The Greeley Tribune, a University of Northern Colorado intramural basketball team thought they1d make a political statement with their name 3The Fighting Whities.Solomon Little Owl, the American Indian who led the effort, thought he and his teammates would turn the tables on the Caucasians, whom they accuse of demeaning Native Americans with such team names as Indians, Reds, Redskins, Braves, Seminoles, Fighting Illini … you get the picture.Much to their surprise, the whities they sought to anger failed to catch the drift. Instead of feeling offended by the name and picture of a white dude as mascot, folks inquired how they could get ahold of a T-shirt picturing a Ronnie Reagan-looking guy in a suit with the slogan 3Every thang1s gonna be all white printed below, according to the Tribune.Alas, PC suffers a blow.Perhaps Little Owl and others searching for offense have overlooked the obvious: Lots of teams have names based on white guys. We haven1t counted to see how white names tally up against Indian names, but we know the Irish, for instance, hardly feel demeaned by the moniker 3Fighting Irish<the University of Notre Dame1s proud team name. The Syracuse University Orange are named after Irish Protestants<the fighting Orange, if you will. Michigan State University has the Spartans, the University of Southern California the Trojans. There are also Cajuns and Crusaders out there.In baseball we have the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees<and would it be a stretch to add Chicago White Sox?<in comparison to the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. One minor league team in upstate New York is called the Doubledays, with an outrageous caricature of a white guy with a handlebar mustache looking thoroughly ridiculous. If he were Indian, there1d be riots.How about the 49ers, Vikings, New England Patriots and Cowboys in pro football? The Lakers, Celtics, Knickerbockers, Trailblazers, Mavericks and 76ers of the NBA all connote 3whities.Some smaller colleges are more explicit: the Norsemen of Northern Kentucky; Flying Dutchmen of Hope College in Holland, Mich.; the Britons of Albion College; the Highlanders of University of California at Riverside; and the Gaels of Iona.Maybe the most offensive name of all is the Washington Redskins of the NFL. Why not just rename them the Rednecks? Their mascot could be Bubba, if he1s getting bored keeping house up there in New York.


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