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I'm a little confused. I recently read that the George Washington University athletic department was changing the team name from the Colonials to the Revolutionaries. The thinking is that the word "colonial" conjures images of racism and repression of native peoples.

Now I understand certain words and images are inherently offensive. The restaurant chain previously known as Sambo's come to mind, as does the wildly grinning image of Chief Wazoo, the former Cleveland Indians (now the Guardians) mascot. Not to say anything of black lawn jockey sculptures or military bases named after traitors (yes, I mean you, Bragg, among a host of others).

But changing Colonials to Revolutionaries? Come on. Some people undoubtedly approve. I strongly suspect Karl Marx has not been this happy since Bernie Sanders's birthday. What's next? Must grade school textbooks be changed to expunge reference to the 13 original colonies and in their place make reference to "the 13 North American geographical entities in their pre-state period"?

More to the point, if the purpose is to eliminate slights to non-majoritarian ethnic groups (admittedly a laudable goal), then why have we also renamed places and things that were intended to HONOR distinct ethnic groups? Close to my home, there was a Native American tribe known as the Tappan. This in an area first settled by the Dutch (remember New York was once New Amsterdam, now the proud name of a vodka.) Embracing local heritage, when a trans-Hudson River bridge was opened in 1955, it was named the Tappan Zee Bridge (after the tribe and after the Dutch word for sea.)

That changed a few years ago, in 2017, when the Tappan Indians (not to say anything of the Dutch) were snubbed and the Bridge was re-christened the "Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge." Now, nothing against Mario Cuomo, who by all accounts was a reasonably decent person (unlike his reprobate son forced from office in the wake of a scandal), but can anyone tell me ANY lasting accomplishment Mario did that deserves such an honor?

So if I get this straight, what we're left with is a policy wherein we remove names that are offensive to certain groups, but also remove names that honor the same groups. Like I said, I'm confused.


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