Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

'Stereotypical Caucasian mascots' also exist

"Indian mascots boost self-esteem of white sports fans." Really? As a 20-year fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I really dislike the Washington Redskins, but of course my esteem does go up when they lose (same as with the Arizona Cardinals).

If Indian mascots are so bad, why do tribes like the Cherokee, Utes, Seminole, etc. give their blessing to continued usage of Indian mascots?

If any local tribe feels a mascot is offensive to them, why not try creating some crazy stereotypical Caucasian mascot and prove a point? Oops. That has already been done by the University of Northern Colorado, who named their basketball team the Fighting Whites, and not only was nobody offended, it proved to be the biggest fundraiser ever in the history of the school.

Perhaps the reverse applies. If Dr. Fryberg tells us that whites get a boost from Indian Mascots like "Braves" and "Indians," then can you just imagine the glee that Indians get from mascots like "Fighting Irish," "Boston Celtics," "Minnesota Vikings," "Virginia Cavaliers" and "Tampa Bay Buccaneers"?

Billy Bearden
Carrollton, Ga.

Beginnings of fascism evident in gay marriage debate

This letter is in response to Tom Mosby and Rob Monteleone's letters regarding the ethics of gay marriage, in which they claim that if a majority believes it so, it should automatically be law and correct.

That's strange; I don't recall learning in history that giving equal rights to blacks in the 1950s was what the majority wanted. I actually recall seeing pictures of a fairly large white majority protesting the entry of the Little Rock Nine to Central High School in 1957. Does that mean that because the majority of people supported segregation, that it was the right thing to do?

Fortunately, the Supreme Court recognized, and still recognizes today, that despite what the opinion of the majority is, the job of the Constitution is to protect the rights of all Americans, not only those of the majority. It is a very slippery slope to say, "If that's what the majority wants, then that's what shall be!" and that has unfortunately been the beginning of every fascist rule in history.

I think most Germans in World War II Germany agreed with Hitler when he blamed the Jews for most of Germany's problems. I do recall a revolution of the "people" (and therefore, probably the majority) installing Josef Stalin into a rule in which he killed millions. If the majority agreed, does it make what they did right?

Therefore, we have to be able, as Americans, to look objectively at the rights of those less represented in our culture. Hypothetically, if I am a straight, middle-class man living in America, is it directly (or even indirectly) harmful to me for two people, regardless of sex, to get married? No. So what's the problem here? The answer is: the beginnings of fascism in the U.S. I'm an Italian major; I think I know fascism when I see it.

Cameron Moore
senior majoring in Italian

America supposed to celebrate diversity of culture

This is in response to the letters from Rob Monteleone and Tom Mosby. First, we don't grant gays "unnecessary" rights. The right to parade is a product of the First Amendment. The right to free speech is something that is inherent in every human being because it is a fundamental right. Silencing dissenting viewpoints is the hallmark of fascism.

Secondly, to Tom's point, even though marriage originated as a religious institution, the state is what regulates that institution. And even though in democracy the majority does often dictate, the other institutions such as the court and the press are in theory supposed to serve a checking function to protect "discrete and insular" minorities from the tyranny and misguided morality of the majority. Government is supposed to be neutral and secular in protecting the rights of all individuals.

The beauty of the American experiment is the diversity of culture and acceptance of all cultures and ideologies. You may not agree with everyone's perspective, but America requires that we understand that they are entitled to those ideas and all the privileges and responsibilities that come with being alive.

The hostility to immigrants seeking a better life in America, the fundamentalists proselytizing on campus, and the open discrimination of alternative lifestyles exhibited in recent weeks is unfortunately all too revealing about the attitudes of current students.

Jared Hautamaki
second-year law student

Homosexuals not treated like human beings

I was happily surprised by Alan Eder's column "It's discrimination, stupid." He hit it on the head. Not allowing homosexuals to get married because of others' homophobia is flat out discrimination. As a lesbian, I feel like I am being treated as a second-class citizen or, dare I say, not even human at all. I am constantly reminded that people's ignorance rules over love and a basic right as a human being. Frankly, it disgusts me.

It was refreshing to read a thoughtful opinion on the subject. Thank you.

Erica Ellis
education senior