Fast Focus: Should mascots be culturally sensitive? Simpler times

August 25, 2013 

My friend bitterly laments from time to time how he misses the simplicity of the 1950s and 1960s with such programs as Amos 'n' Andy and The Lone Ranger, among other evening viewing. To be sure, looking back does seem to offer some kind of solace, sad though it may be since those days will never return -- a simpler time and a lost age of innocence. But the aforementioned stereotyped people, even if programs and team images (logos) are unintentional, probably feel some relief from wrongful portrayals. My friend probably misses the days when the term "politically correct" wasn't used, too.

Did anybody in, say, 1955 or 1968 object to our national capital's football team's moniker, the Washington Redskins or Wisconsin's Milwaukee Braves? I can't recall a protest but that doesn't mean an undercurrent of hurt didn't exist. Though such mascots may be taken to mean courage, ferocity and fearlessness, it might have had the opposite effect on a segment of our society.

Anything less than a consideration of "cultural sensitivity" could put a part of humanity in a kind of quandary. I would like to think our society has today matured enough to consider the merits of using unoffensive mascot names. There's plenty of imagination to come up with alternative names, isn't there?

-- BINK OWEN, Walla Walla

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