Mike Thompson: Should Michigan schools dump their American Indian nicknames?

Mike Thompson: Should Michigan schools dump their American Indian nicknames?

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Mike Thompson: Should Michigan schools dump their American Indian nicknames?

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A former colleague of mine once observed that accusing someone of political correctness is just a polite way of telling that person to shut up. The fact that you can’t relate to another person’s sensitivities doesn’t automatically invalidate that person’s sensitivities.

According to a Free Press story
by Lori Higgins, The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has requested that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights restrict schools in Michigan from using “Indian mascots, names, nicknames, slogans, chants and imagery.” Should the complaint stick, it would impact schools across the country. The issue has prompted predictable cries of “political correctness.”

It’s counterproductive to teach children about the virtues of acceptance in our increasingly diverse society at a school where student athletes are referred to as “Redskins” or “Redmen.” Yet, according to the same Free Press story, two Republican lawmakers have gone so far as to introduce a bill that would force the state’s Department of Civil Rights to pick up the tab if state schools are made to change their belittling nicknames and dump their mascots.

America has changed by leaps and bounds since many of these school nicknames were first adopted. It’s time to ditch these relics from a bygone, less enlightened era.

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Mike Thompson: Should Michigan schools dump their American Indian nicknames?

A better way for Michigan schools to honor American Indians

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