Sunday, June 10, 2007

T-Shirts that 'commemorate' UIUC's mascot

A few weeks ago, I saw a family of four (parents and two children) entering a local restaurant. They wore matching orange t-shirts that had the mascot logo and the dates signifying the eighty-year period during which it was in use.

I wondered just what those parents told their children about the issue. When they bought them those shirts, what did they tell them?

Given the decision to purchase the shirt with the logo on it, I assume they don't tell them it is a race-based symbol, or that American Indians object to such imagery. Maybe they say nothing at all, but if these are fans that go to the games, how do they tell their children the mascot is over and done? What do they say?

I'd like to know. I'd really like to know.

The U of I no longer sells merchandise that has either the logo or the word "Chief" on its sports page. Given the logo is trademarked, nobody else is authorized to use it either. Course, there was a window of time when people bought everything they could, so there's plenty of stuff around for parents to buy for themselves and their children.

It seems to me they commemorate racism...