Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 28, 2005

Good to see Wildcat sporting 'Optimal Stubble'

Having a classic "Optimal Stubble" in place of the stupid penguin comic makes a great Thanksgiving gift from the Arizona Daily Wildcat. This is especially true when anyone unlucky enough to have class is not paying attention anyway.

Cliff Golon
history junior

Celtics, Knicks also named after ethnic symbols

I would first like to say that I can respect Alan Eder's opinion on mascot names being offensive ("Mascots are symbols of oppression"), but I feel that he may be too concerned with being politically correct and therefore missed his facts. 

He states that "Team names that target ethnic groups are blatantly prejudiced. ... The latter examples are racist as well, and would never be approved." I would like to bring to your attention two largely successful professional sports teams: the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks (or Knickerbockers). Both of these teams are named after ethnic groups, neither of which name has a necessarily positive connotation. 

The Boston Celtics are named after the Celts - who are commonly associated with barbarians. Additionally, the mascot of the Celtics is a man dressed in Irish garb covered with clovers and a pipe sticking out of his mouth. I am half Irish-Celtic, I don't walk around with clovers all over my chest, and the last I remember I was not part of a barbarian horde - should I take offense to this? 

Now the New York Knickerbockers, home of the much-missed Channing Frye, were named after a group of Dutch settlers on the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island. A Knickerbocker is a descendant of these original Dutch settlers. For those who are Dutch, should they be offended by the name of the basketball team? I think that people are too concerned with offending someone, but where does it end? I am Irish-Polish American, but when I fill out a census card I am Anglo. I do not take offense to that. People need to stop being coddled and concern themselves with bigger issues.


Ken Tierney
UA alumnus

Faculty presentation stressed systemic problems

On Tuesday, a story ran about a panel on homelessness and Hurricane Katrina ("Grijalva absent from discussion").

There was a mischaracterization of my presentation at the panel in the Tuesday news story: "Deborah Whaley, an adjunct faculty member of Africana studies stressed that 'race collides with class,' and showed a clip of rap artist Kanye West saying, 'George Bush doesn't care about black people,' which made the lack of immediate hurricane relief efforts seem to be a race issue instead of a class issue. Whaley suggested that problems with race result from problems with public policy, and there is a need for a national discussion on creating new public policy."

The Kanye West news segment discussed international policy, class and race, with only a two-second add-in about the president toward the end. What is so disturbing about this gross misrepresentation is that one primary focus of my talk was to discuss how a Florida college student newspaper also misrepresented Kanye West's comments about Hurricane Katrina as "playing the race card."

Furthermore, my presentation said that it is important to consider larger, systemic problems that are a result of public policy, especially policymaking that has adverse consequences for historically marginalized groups (e.g., gender, race and class minorities). It is very unfortunate that there was a reduction of my comments to "problems with race" as a result of "problems with public policy."

Deborah Whaley
adjunct lecturer, African-American studies

ASUA doesn't credibly represent grad students

On reading remarks from Cade Bernsen and Ben Graff regarding the departure of the optical science graduates from the Associated Students of the University of Arizona ("Optical grads opt to leave ASUA"), I had to think: Are there truly "issues in the big picture" of current relevance shared between graduates and undergraduates? A mental comparison between their concerns and ours didn't yield any significant overlap. Surely undergraduate and postgraduate students have a common interest in the university's well-being, but to give this as reason for graduate students to sit down, shut up and fall into line is disingenuous.

Regarding Ben Graff's concerns about credibility, in three years I have yet to see ASUA credibly serve as representative of graduate student interests. That they say they represent us does not make it so; their actions speak louder and truer. The OSC graduates' vote to secede from ASUA does not diminish its credibility; rather it makes public its lack thereof.

Bennett Kalafut
physics graduate student

Here's a subject for Michael Huston

("Mascots are symbols of honor") to research: The term "Redskin" refers to a scalp taken from a murdered (usually completely innocent) American Indian for sale. What better name to represent the United States' NFL team in our nation's capital? It captures our great nation's history of harvesting people of color in our conquest of the world. Keep up the good work; Hitler would be proud of you.

Here are some facts: An estimated 16.5 million American Indians were murdered in the conquest of America. The U.S. government enforced a program of forced assimilation on all Indian nations until the American Indian Movement brought international attention to this blatant crime against humanity in the 1970s (my generation).

When most of these "dancing Indian" mascots came to be, it was against federal law for Indians to engage in ritual dancing (violation of the rights of self-expression and religion). More than 800 treaties were signed by the U.S. government and American Indian nations; the U.S. has violated all of them. This is unconstitutional (see Article 6, U.S. Constitution). The U.S. government holds in trust moneys for mineral leases and mineral sales on Indian lands. A recent audit of these accounts found $150 billion missing.

Fact: We cannot tolerate any more of your "honoring" - it has taken our people to the brink of extinction.


Roger L. Fontana
Parkland College