New face of Native Americans

By MaryAnne Spinner

What a glorious day for the forces of political correctness who have finally bullied the University of Illinois into dispatching Chief Illiniwek to mascot purgatory.

We no longer need be repulsed by the offensive and archaic stereotype of a young man, dressed in a buckskin suit and headdress, performing a two-minute dance at sporting events, and cheered on by countless thousands of adoring teenagers.

Instead, we can be inspired by the modern image of Native American casino operators, blackjack dealers, dice handlers, wheel of fortune turners, cheered on – “baby needs a new pair of shoes” – by countless thousands of adoring grandmothers shoveling their Social Security payments into the maws of (Native American-owned) slot machines.

What a glorious day, what progress. Another stereotype bites the dust. Illinois teenagers next year will cheer for a giant dancing ear of corn, and teenagers of the next generation will know Native Americans for their ancient ritual of dealing the flop.

The Chief is dead. Long live the Chief.

MaryAnne Spinner

University of Illinois, class of 1970