The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is asking federal officials to issue a national ban barring schools from using American Indian mascots and names on the grounds that such names are offensive.
We wonder who is actually being offensive on issues such as these. Catholics do not appear offended by the San Diego Padres logo of a goofy looking monk swinging a baseball bat. Why should they be? It's all in good fun. Are Irish Americans bothered by Notre Dame's Fighting Irish and that mean looking two-fisted leprechaun image with which they proudly adorn themselves? It doesn't seem to be the case. It's not meant to provoke the Irish, and indeed they might rather like the idea that their ancestors from the old sod are seen as rough and tough.
So why should Native Americans be offended by Chiefs or Hurons or Chippewas or Braves or even Indians? We'll wager that a good many aren't, in fact; they may actually like the references along the lines of the Irish and the Catholics. We will concede something on Redskins, to be honest, as that moniker does seem to cross the line in rudeness. But then, we aren't saying that all's fair either. Do we really think that a group of citizens are so thin skinned that they can't appreciate a powerful, or even playful, nod towards their culture? If they are, we humbly suggest, then, that that's their problem.
In short, don't insult or use overtly racist slurs in naming teams and institutions. But don't be a stick in the mud either. It's supposed to be fun, remember?
Or does our increasingly politically correct society wish to ban that too?