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When cancel culture attacks: most endangered species in America may be mascots

Strong mascots are no match for university administrators desperate to pander to protesting activists.

At least 20 mascots in the past ten years have been canceled. Many more have been protested.

Earlier this year, Valparaiso University ditched its “Crusaders” mascot after protesters argued the nickname was associated with “hate groups.” Northwest Nazarene University, Susquehanna University and Maranatha Baptist have also scrapped the “Crusaders” mascot.

A similar mascot, the “Colonials,” is in the process of being purged at George Washington University.

Late last year, San Antonio College axed the “Ranger” as its mascot after Mexican-American students complained the name evoked the Texas Rangers, a vigilante group that killed Mexicans and Native Americans in the early 1900s.

“With everything going on with the Black Lives Matter movement, the killing of George Floyd, the takedown of white supremacist symbols across the nation, I think (the College Council) really saw the need to move forward quickly because they did not want to stand on the wrong side of history,” a Latina student activist said of the name change.

Long Island University in New York ditched its 84-year old “Blackbirds” nickname after activists called it “offensive” and “racist.”

In several cases, students and activists protested nicknames but no action has yet been taken.

For instance, students at Emory & Henry College in Virginia urged the administrators to change the mascot away from a wasp because of the connotation the term “WASP” has with the acronym “White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant.”

At Boston University, the president announced officials would be looking at changing the mascot’s name away from “Rhett” because of the connotation it has with the classic movie “Gone With the Wind.”

“[It] is reasonable for people to question why, at a university founded by abolitionists, we have a mascot nicknamed for a character in a film whose racist depictions are completely at odds with our own tradition,” the university said.

MORE: Campus Cancel Culture Database

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About the Author
Senior Reporter
Christian focuses on investigative, enterprise and analysis reporting. He is the author of "1916: The Blog" and has spent time as a political columnist at USA Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and National Review Online. His op-eds have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, City Journal, Weekly Standard and National Review. He has also been a frequent guest on political television and radio shows. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Marquette University and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.