Racist Mascot Has To Go!
Champaign-Urbana, IL – A protest by University of Illinois students shut down a meeting of the Board of Trustees in November. Chanting, “No excuses, no delay, ban the chief today,” 35 students stood up with signs after the Board refused to vote to get rid of the school mascot, ‘Chief Illiniwek.’ 50 more people were chanting from the hall, because the Board refused to move their meeting to a larger room to accommodate the public.
The ‘Chief’ is a white male college student who dances on the sidelines at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign football games. This modern-day minstrel show was invented by white students 75 years ago. Despite years of protests by Native American groups and progressive students, the University continues to defend keeping it as their symbol.
The Progressive Resource/Action Cooperative (PRC) stated that the Board of Trustees had repeatedly postponed a vote to dump ‘Chief Illiniwek.’ Speaking to the Board, after blasting them for their inaction, alumna Brooke Anderson refused to leave the microphone. “I’ll use my remaining time to wait here until you vote to ban the Chief!” she said. University of Illinois cops dragged Anderson from the podium, but didn’t press charges. The protest continued outside for another 20 minutes.
Catherine Miller of the PRC said, “We will be back in the spring. We have a semester full of plans to get the Board to finally end this.”