Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Call Cease Fire in FSU Nickname War

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Call Cease Fire in FSU Nickname War

Article excerpt

It never ceases to amaze me how much time, energy and outrage can be wasted when the PC police and politicians get their antennas up.

Not that all of us couldn't use some sensitivity training in our lives, but the domino trail of point-counterpoint evolving over whether Florida State University should continue using the nickname Seminoles needs to cease immediately.

Because in this battle of political correctness vs. status quo, there is no real winner. Just an affirmation that we live in a society where people care more about having their way than simply doing the right thing.

The overkill began on April 14 when an FSU English professor, Fred Standley, criticized the use of an Indian tribe for the school's nickname at an athletic board meeting. Standley spoke out in response to Seminole tribe chief James Billie, who wrote a letter acknowledging his continued support of FSU's use of Seminoles despite recent passage of Resolution I-98. That was a measure by the Governors' Interstate Indian Council in North Carolina saying all Indian nicknames should be condemned.

Billie has repeatedly stated that the tribe is "honored" by FSU's nickname. To contradict I-98, he said there would be an opposing resolution and told the Seminole Tribune that he "might even put it to a referendum vote" of the tribe.

Standley, who believes FSU should follow the paths already taken by Stanford, St. John's and other schools that have replaced their Indian nicknames, was predictably inundated with phone calls and e-mails criticizing him for suggesting a banning of the Seminole nickname.

Unfortunately, the bickering and name-calling mushroomed into an embarrassing power struggle. Now we have Native Americans ripping Native Americans, a Florida senate hurriedly pushing through legislation requiring FSU to keep the nickname (the House later killed the bill), and people who love the school snipping at each other.

Enough already. …

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