Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 5, 2013

It’s time to choose another nickname

— I didn’t grow up with an iconic mascot. It’s hard to get attached to a “comet.” So, it’s hard for me to relate to the outrage people in Goshen feel about the removal of the mascot from the gym and the possible loss of their team name.

I’ve seen so many comments, especially on Facebook, about how it’s “ours” and nobody means it as a slur, so therefore it isn’t. Truly, it is a slur, and very offensive. Research the history of the term “redskin” and it’s horrifying. No, it didn’t affect me personally, but does that mean it’s OK to offend those it does?

There are many terms that started out derogatory that we refuse to use now. Why is this one OK? I have many young friends who are really upset over this, and I am sorry that we adults have made this harder for them. We need to lead by example, rather that incite even more anger and outrage.

Truthfully, I think this whole thing is a smokescreen to distract the community from the things we need to concentrate on — like our kids will not be able to have field trips like we did. The budget cuts are impacting so many things that are important — sports, music, art, busing, cuts to hours of the support groups so important to our system.

Let’s acknowledge that we never meant to offend with our nickname, but that it’s time to put our energies to choosing another, and to try and figure out how to give our kids what we took for granted — a great education with all that includes.

— Becky Clark