January 12, 2007

Hate speech at UIUC

From "More on 'Hate Speech'" on IlliniPundit.com, 1/11/07, a great comment on the Facebook controversy over Chief Illiniwek:CUObserver, I take your point about people supporting and opposing the Chief for many reasons. Yet the fact that all organized Native American academic and cultural groups at UIUC oppose him (along with the great majority of those across the country) is enough for me to trust he's not honoring the people whose costume he's borrowing.

And please riddle me this: If calling American Indians drunken redskins and wishing for their deaths by tomahawk is not racist, what possible statement about American Indians could ever be? It's pertinent here, no, that the pro-Chief students who said such things _themselves_ suggested, in the title of their Facebook group, that they were racist or en route to being so. (They've admitted the site was theirs, by the way, and not the result of nefarious liberal counterintelligence.)

The level of denial, obfuscation, and blame-the-victim projection among pro-Chief (and some determinedely neutral) commentators can lead one to despair about the powers of new facts and conditions to change anyone's mind, ever.

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