San Diego State Moves To Remove Long-Standing Aztec Mascot As Culturally Insensitive

downloadSan Diego State has long rallied about its mascot The Aztecs, but may soon join other schools in changing its symbol to avoid objections over cultural insensitivity.  We previously discussed the controversial decisions to drop the “Fighting Sioux” and “Chief Illini.”  This decisions and polls show Native Americans largely supportive of team names referencing National American icons or tribes.

What is striking is that students have rejected past referendums calling for a name change.  The faculty senate then stepped in to force the change. The senate passed a non-binding resolution 52-15  for a name change and to “retire all human representations of the Aztec Warrior and accompanying symbols.”  The senate also recommended the removal of the use of spears or “weapons that connote barbaric representations of the Aztec culture.”

As a historical footnote, the Aztecs were pretty brutal with a culture based on blood-curdling human sacrifice.

The resolution goes to  interim university President Sally Roush for consideration, though she could table the resolution until a new president is hired.



52 thoughts on “San Diego State Moves To Remove Long-Standing Aztec Mascot As Culturally Insensitive”

  1. I lived in San Diego from 2005 until 2016. Don’t get me wrong. San Diego is a paradise on earth and we enjoyed every second of every year we lived there. One thing we learned quickly was that there are three very different universities in town:

    – UC San Diego: It’s where the brainpower resides.

    – Point Loma Nazarene: A quiet and quaint college located in one of the most gorgeous spots you can imagine.

    – SDSU: The party school. The drunk school. The one kids go to when they can’t pass the academic standards of UCSD. Next time you visit San Diego go to Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, or the Gaslamp. Then count how many out of control young drunks in some way are connected to SDSU. I’ve got a story about five of them at the Denny’s on the corner of Garnet Ave and Mission/Ocean Blvd in the 92109 I can expound upon as necessary.

    I do have to wonder if I-8 must be renamed. Locally it is referred to as Kumeyaay Highway in reference to the Kumeyaay tribe that lived in the region a long time ago. Isn’t it racist to refer to a race as a highway?

      1. And? That doesn’t change my point. Shall we expect additional ethnic named avenues and highways across our great land? I mean, VW is already terrible with their naming of vehicles after ethnicities. Do we need Black People Boulevard for hipsters to wheel their Tauregs around on?

        Where does all this stop? How many other things must we sanitize in the name of ideological purity? The Fighting Irish surely need to change their name lest they conjur images of violent Irelanders. The Pirates too need to change theirs for fear they might trigger those who fear sailing off the Horn of Africa and being bothred by khat chewing Somalis. Etc, etc.

        This never ending Maoism proves our country is about a generation away from bondage – this is what happens when schools no longer teach civics and intellectualism.

    1. Does Mission Beach still have that lovely soft sand? I remember it was the softest sand beach I’d ever visited. Then one year there was a great storm, and all that fine sand washed out. It was just a regular beach when I visited next. I haven’t been back in years, and wondered if it recovered.

      1. What year was the storm you refer to? I do remember one winter it rained heavily and the seas roared up to the boardwalk so yes, it altereted the shore from Ocean Beach up to Bird Rock. When we left though in January 2016 it was fine. Nice sand. Great for running in the early morning around springtime. Maybe not as awesome as Coronado with the sand that glimmers like gold in the summer.

  2. Let’s not stop there. The Minnesota Vikings MUST change their name lest they a) represent those Nordic hordes that arrived on North American shores centuries before Columbus or b) offend anyone of Nordic heritage. UNC Charlotte needs to drop “the 49ers” because it represents “miner 49’er” and those who discovered gold in North Carolina back in 1849. “The 49ers” perpetuates greed and capitalism. The New England Patriots have to go because it’s en vogue to tear down monuments to those early Patriots that alleviated us from English domination. The Kansas City Chiefs can’t remain the Chiefs either because “Chief” is a military title and we don’t want to foster militarism among the culture and “Chief” is a native American term even though native Americans weren’t really native to America AND their greatest cultural export – aside from some really cool art – was lung cancer-inducing tobacco.

  3. Cultural insensitivity?

    Once they have removed all references to Native Americans in mascots across the country, then there will be the accusation that we have whitewashed history, and Native Americans are not represented. Then we will hear that all the mascots are either animals or white people, like knights or pioneers, and they should get rid of all the white mascots and replace them with Native Americans and African Americans.

    I’ve always liked the Aztecs’ logo. It looks fierce and is beautifully rendered. Perhaps the objection is it represents the homicidal and genocidal culture of early Native Americans, the Aztecs. Maybe they don’t want people to remember that the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice of both adults and children in today’s moral equivalence, or that they completely wiped out competing tribes and took their land. They want people to forget that a Native American tribe like the Aztecs built enormous pillars out of human skulls, and make them think they all peacefully wove baskets until the evil white man came. One pillar alone, found in Mexico City, contained 650 intact skulls and fragments of thousands more – including children. But, hey, isn’t Columbus the evil guy who led to the Westernization of the New World, the end to such practices, and eventually led to the end of slavery? Native Americans practiced slavery up until it was outlawed by the US…just like virtually every other culture that existed.

    1. I forgot to add that in reference to that tower with 650 skulls and thousands of fragments – they have not yet unearthed the base. They estimate that it contains hundreds of thousands of skulls.

      But…let’s just purge Columbus as the evil guy who led to the end of this practice…Sure, Hernando Cortez was a man of his times, who would not stand up to scrutiny according to the today’s mores. But I must say I am glad that the Aztecs were defeated. When you think of what life would have been like had the Aztecs continued on…how many more such pillars would have been erected…it’s sobering.

      And as for not elevating – absolutely zero people from antiquity would hold up to today’s standards. It is anachronistic to judge them so. Were we not to honor anyone who owned slaves, for example, then the Greek mathematicians and philosophers would be out the window.

      Human intelligence emphasizes learning over instinct. We do retain some instinctive behaviors, but for the most part, we spend our lives learning. The more our ancestors learn, the greater the starting point of successive generations. You would literally dumb down our species if you removed anyone from antiquity that did not have the values of Haight Ashbury today.

      The hard Left manufactures one crisis after another. They are victim profiteers. Now they want all Native American mascots removed due to cultural sensitivity, but those cultures were actually not very sensitive in antiquity, either. That’s the point. The Europeans were no more cruel than anyone in any other country at the time. The native Maori were cannibals. And no tribe genteelly starved when the herds moved out of their tribal lands. They followed the herds, and the stronger tribes took that land. Why does anyone think that Native American tribes lived difficult lives in the desert and drylands in this enormous country, full of rich habitats? Because they were driven out by stronger tribes. Each tribe held their territory or lost it, and genocide was not uncommon during tribal warfare. (This is still true in the African continent, as well.

      I tire of this manufactured story of white guilt, how it’s wrong to be white and male, or have a successful life. The past happened. The Aztecs killed who knew how many people. But I don’t believe that modern day descendants of Aztecs owe any recompense or restitution or guilt. And it’s absurd to choose one ethnicity in one country and behave as if they must make up for anything. Why not the infamous Portuguese? The Dutch? Or the current slave owners in the African continent?

      1. Karen S – most people overlook that Cortez had the help of Indian allies in defeating the Aztecs. They were all peoples the Aztecs had raided for prisoners before and they had a serious grudge. Without the Indians, the Conquistadors would have never defeated the Aztecs. They had been defeated and driven out of the city once before.

        1. I’ll just bet the other tribes helped. The bones of over a hundred thousand of their people and other conquered tribes would make a fierce motivation to help Cortez.

          This notion that Europeans acted any worse than anyone else at the time is anachronistic and absurd. No one gave out bubbles to blow or a teddy bear if stressed in the time of the Aztecs.

            1. andrewworkshop – the Indians also gave us syphilis. At least that is one theory.

              1. Additionally, the “native Americans” weren’t native at all. They arrived here from elsewhere and uprooted the previous inhabitants – their genocide was so complete there are few hints at all left of those that lived here before their arrival.

  4. This is probably a good thing, We should not elevate or honor human sacrificers or slave keeping savages. Let’s clean up who and what we elevate.

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