Bob Novak details the sad decision by the University of Illinois to dump its Chief Illiniwek symbol in the face of pressure from the NCAA and advocacy groups.
I guess I’m lucky in that the team for my undergraduate alma mater is the “Hornets,” while my graduate ones are the “Tigers” and “Hawkeyes.” (Extra credit if you can tell me to which schools those mascots belong. Put your guess in the comments section.) Since it’s unlikely that any of the creatures on which those mascots are based will become college bureaucrats or social do-gooders in the near future, I have no cause for concern.
Anyway, my one quibble with Novak’s column concerns the last paragraph:
While I can understand dumping the Chief, I don’t like it. I could react by withdrawing from my long-range commitments to support the University of Illinois, but I won’t. That would put me in the same class as the petty bureaucrats and politicians who killed Chief Illiniwek.
How does withholding funding from a university constitute “petty”? It seems to me it depends on the reason for withholding funding. If you are withholding funding because the university used its speech code to violate the rights of its students, would that be petty? I have a hard time seeing how it is petty if you withhold funding because the university administators didn’t have enough spine to stand up to the dumb bureaucrats and grievance mongers. Although, in fairness, it is perhaps unreasonable to expect university administrators to have much in the way of spine.
As the saying goes, conscience is that little voice telling you that your funding might be jeopardized. Maybe university administrators would here that voice a bit more often if the likes of Novak were to close their wallets.
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