“People are not mascots!” — Really? What about the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New York Yankees, Notre Dame Irish, Packers, Rangers, Cowboys, Canadiens and on and on and on?

They’re all team mascots represented by people, all of which have a special connection to their communities and by their very nature are used to celebrate all that is best and most noble of the culture of these groups.

Traits such as pride and honor, bravery and strength, grit and determination, teamwork and camaraderie.

But we are asked to suspend our own beliefs, and accept that this is all true except for one exception: the American Indian.

We must ask ourselves why have leaders of this group seized on this issue as their cause? Is it because they see this as “low hanging fruit?” In order to show their perceived constituents that they are relevant, have they chosen this issue to show what they can do?

This is not leadership, this is demagoguery.

Real leaders don’t do what’s easy, they work to do what’s most needed. They would be better leaders if they put their efforts into improving the social conditions of their communities — poverty, unemployment, substance abuse and future prospects — to work for a better future.

But no, this is their cause of the day.

We as a society have suspended our disbelief so many times over the past 20-25 years, and acquiesced on word and term changes because it was politically correct. Who remembers the “manhole covers” change to “personnel access lids” dustup?

I ask that we not cave in. We should continue to celebrate our history the way we feel best honors our past and our traditions. Yes it’s a checkered past, but is our past, all the good and bad included.

Dare I say, “Be brave, Skowhegan.”

Greg Theriault

Skowhegan


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