No Chief doesn’t solve all problems

By Brian Glickman

I am not surprised that Chief Illiniwek will be retired following the game tonight. However, I am definitely disappointed with how it came about. After working closely with the administration last semester regarding chief-related issues, two things became apparent to me: One, the administration is afraid to make a decision about anything that has major effects on the University. Second, Chief Illiniwek was such a distraction that it affected what matters most: making the University one of the nation’s premiere institutions.

While I sat and watched the race forum two weeks ago, it was obviously a one-sided affair, which put too much pressure on the weak administration to take prompt actions based purely on impulse. The idea brought up time and time again at the Race Forum was that the presence of Chief Illiniwek creates a racist environment on campus. It is unfortunate that everything on this campus that had to do with racism was immediately attributed to the Chief. “Tacos & Tequila” … the Chief! Facebook racist comments … get rid of the Chief! Now that the Chief is gone, the University of Illinois will be free from racism now and forever, right? Doubtful.

Racism is an American problem. People at the race forum failed to realize that this is not going to be an overnight change. It’s been just over 40 years since our country adopted the idea of racial equality. We still have not had a minority U.S. President. This year, for the first time, we had two minority coaches in the Super Bowl. The reality of the matter is that racism is still prevalent in our society. There will always be a bonehead that makes a racist comment on Facebook. Campuses across the country deal with poor social themes like Tacos & Tequila. It takes time to change the way people act. The Chief is the most recent, and most unfortunate, casualty from the boneheads in our society.

Brian Glickman

senior in Business