More Than a Feeling

Across the country, millions of school children are learning about the first Thanksgiving. They're being taught that the first Thanksgiving was a momentous occasion in which the American Indians helped the struggling Pilgrims hunt and harvest an enormous feast, and then they sat down together to enjoy it and give thanks.

At the same time, students, faculty and staff here at Marquette are being encouraged to take an online survey on whether or not we should change our athletics nickname back to "Warriors." At the risk of offending athletes again, I don't give a rat's ass what the nickname or mascot is because I don't care about Marquette athletics.

However, the whole mascot thing made me think of an interesting equation. Let's say that a group of descendents of the first Pilgrims and Indians decided to get together and say they found our modern American Thanksgiving traditions offensive.

Say they decided it was OK for us to celebrate, but not to use American Indian or Pilgrim imagery, which they found stereotypical and offensive. Say they demanded we change the name to "National Family Food Fest" and use only cartoonish figures like "Skippy the Talking Pumpkin Pie."

Let's say for the sake of political correctness, the current administration gave in and turned our beloved Thanksgiving into National Family Food Fest, and all of our cute little Pilgrim/Indian centerpieces were replaced with Skippy. It seems so unlikely that anyone would mess with tradition just to appease a small group of people. Alas, they did, and now we have to begrudgingly comply with their demands.

Then, when Bill Gates offers the government $2 billion to bring back Thanksgiving without the offensive imagery, the government starts to talk about it — not because of the money, but because people miss Thanksgiving. Luckily, Skippy stays but Food Fest gets axed. We feel a little empty, because even though we have the name back, a lot of the tradition has been lost. But because some of that imagery really was offensive, we decide to take what we can get.

So now I get it. After several years of Golden Eagles, we've gotten used to it. But for those who have always been Warriors, brining back the name would restore a beloved tradition, which would probably make them really happy.

National Family Food Fest probably sounds just as stupid as Golden Eagles, because neither are legitimate in the grand scheme of tradition. But if political correctness tried to take away one of my favorite traditions, I think I would fight until I got it back.

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