Protesters Demand That University of Denver Drop The “Pioneers” As A Symbol Of “Genocide and Oppression”

denver_boone_205x205Native American students at the University of Denver are demanding that the school drop the “Pioneers” — denouncing the nickname as a symbol of  “genocide and oppression.” We previously discussed the controversial decisions to drop the “Fighting Sioux” and “Chief Illini” and the Aztecs.  I have been critical of some of these moves and I would include the Pioneers among those ill-considered changes.  The school has already yielded to demands to drop the informal mascot of Danial Boone by implementing a ban on masks on campus.

Boone was dropped by the schools as  a “polarizing figure” in 2013.  However, the school kept the Pioneer nickname.

Now the Native Student Alliance is campaigning for the nickname to be dropped, according to the school’s newspaper The Clarion.

Native Student Alliance co-president Raelene Woody insisted that the name is “associated with westward expansion, genocide, oppression, assimilation of Native American students.” It is certainly true that the term references Western expansion but that is a great part of the history of Colorado.  Not all pioneers were oppressors or genocidal maniacs.  Most were families looking for a better life and willing to face tremendous hardships to find it.

What do you think?

57 thoughts on “Protesters Demand That University of Denver Drop The “Pioneers” As A Symbol Of “Genocide and Oppression””

  1. I’m starting to warm up to the snowflakes since they say so many laughable things. We all need a good laugh once in a while.

  2. I wonder how many English people are offended by the term “Patriot” or southerners having to hear the term “Yankees”.

    It always seemed to me that the real crime we did to the natives was to give them “reservations” instead of just telling them, “Hey, you lost, we won, now come join us in building one of the greatest countries ever to exist.”

  3. This is what happens when you recruit students who seek some form of attention through their social activism. It’s usually anti-American, anti-history or just anti-status quo. In saner times, we’ve have shown this trash the door. Now we celebrate our “diversity”— which of course means discord. The only diversity that works on college campuses is diversity of rational opinions. Everything else is virtue signaling or guilt assuagemeant.

    1. I think it’s what happens when humanities departments, dominated by postmodern neo marxists, teach students to see the world completely through an ‘oppressed vs opressor’ lens. The students are just the activist arm of the postmodern professors that are indoctrinating them.

  4. Native Student Alliance co-president Raelene Woody insisted that the name is “associated with westward expansion, genocide, oppression, assimilation of Native American students.”

    Of course these protesters fail to see the irony that they are protesting at an institution that exists because of westward expansion.

  5. The best response is no response. College officials should just ignore them.

    On another note whenever a group begins demanding changes due to “oppression”, an increasingly meaningless word due to hyperbole and overuse, they diminish their credibility.

  6. all good suggestion and a hundred years from now some new group could bitch about that. never learing those who live inthe past are doom to repeat the same mistakes therefore…The Mistakes

  7. They could celebrate he past by being The Fighting Nobodies or The Zero’s

  8. This should be a rational discussion devoid of emotions. The idea Native Americans were a monolithic culture, devoid of territorial wars and expansion between tribes is a false narrative. Their history is rife with intra tribal wars and alliances, causing nomadic displacements. Because a tribe was nomadic, is not indicative that they did not make claims to territory by which they moved their villages to differing summer and winter locations.

    The issue is to acknowledge that because a form of conflict between settled cultures and nomadic cultures does not in of itself absolve either form of culture from their own histories, good and bad. There is a knee jerk reaction today that anything associated with western cultural values is inherently bad and indigenous cultures are inherently good. Western culture by its virtue of having prevailed, is considered oppressive. Its a false narrative. This does not mean that oppression did not take place. It has and in some form or another, always will. Its the nature of humans and the wielding of power. This is where the constitution was formed as a method of checks and balances to mitigate those very impulses.

    So as to the point in hand. Eliminating any references to the history of a country, because we did not like a particular outcome, is narrow and done without context. As a society, we devolve into broken pieces where actual and percieved grievances dominate our decisions, eliminating the stabilizing influence of critical reasoning. Take away our ability to use reason and rely solely on what we feel, is a path to individual and societal anarchy. Our tastes in what we like to eat is subject to whims that can radically veer from one day to the next. Do we want to make decisions based on arbitrary feelings which we in many cases cannot control in our own lives. The name Pioneers is fairly benign. To associate it with genocide or oppression is logically not supported by any facts. Its a bad idea and it reinforces no matter what name we choose, that someone, somewhere will have a grievance, real or perceived to rail against it.

    1. This is special pleading by special snowflakes. i agree with your well-reasoned post in general, but in cases like this, an emotionless discussion can be had in less than 30 seconds. The administrators tell the Native American group that it must provide proof of harm. Claims made are opinions only, and they do not constitute prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. The left has gotten away with this crap for far too long because everyone else caves to ever-increasing and ever more ridiculous claims of injustices.

    2. GH:
      Stop with all the rational, good advice already. This isn’t rational discussion or the mature seeking of redress of grievances: it’s radical temper tantrums.

  9. Communists, radical Islamic, Nazis revise and wipe out history. History, good or bad, must be preserved.

  10. Reading about the history of Chief Seattle and some of the effects the European and ‘Americans” had on the local native populations, first wave of disease killed about 25% of the local natives in parts of the Pacific Northwest and a few years later another wave of disease killed between 75% and 88% of the local native people – that is part of our history that seems to get over looked

    But as noted above it was 200 years ago so who really cares?

  11. I was going to pass this by until Turley’s comments about Westward expansion being a great part of the history of Colorado. That expansion, part of Manifest Destiny where “Americans” had the God-granted right to everything west to the Pacific Ocean, without regard to the peoples already living there. Maybe that’s why the Native Americans object?

    I imagine there is another history not recognized of tribes being wiped out by disease and “Pioneers” or perhaps merely relocated to a resort-like reservation where they were well taken care of. I never would have given the mascot name a thought but it doesn’t mean that to some it isn’t terribly disrespectful.

    1. Do you think if the Chinese had gotten to America first, that anything would have turned out differently? Or if Africans had boats and guns, and got here first, that it would have been any different?

      My goodness, but the whole world has been a series of people invading and taking other people’s lands. You see it in the inner city, where rival black drug and crime gangs fight for turf, taking the block from other thugz who had it first.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Hello Squeeky, There are theories that Africans arrived at least second but that conversation is for another day.
        I’m just saying I can see why Native Americans attending the school might object to the symbol of the Pioneer which perhaps means something different than the celebration of that time when the good Europeans conquered the West? All based on the theory that God intended for them to have it all.
        The exception I suppose is in the South where the Confederates lost and got all the statues. Many a hundred later in protest of civil rights.

        1. Americans gave the “Natives” disease, and they gave us tobacco. Tobacco has killed more people than the flu or whatever it was that the Indians were too weak to deal with. That makes it about even.

          1. TIN – although there is some controversy over it, the Indians gave the Whites VD. The first known Italian disease popped up the year after Columbus returned from the New World. It is would later become know as The French Disease.

          2. Tobacco killed as many as it did because it was too profitable to those that controlled it. I think rather than blame the Native Americans you might look at the the complicit Congress and courts who were willing to allow the sacrifice of human lives for money.

    2. The part iyou left out is everythng from the north pole to what is now the Isthmus of Panama which applied to indigenes as well as those who followed so The Expansionests or The Interlopers and to bring it to a fine point The Unknowns…..and then they would have no history at all..

      1. As I recall, the US negotiated with Britain to establish the Northern border of Canada, dividing up among themselves how they would rule that portion of the new world. Separately, they stopped at Mexico to the South because there were, “too many Mexicans.”

        When the US was negotiating the end of the Mexican-American War. John C. Calhoun said this on the floor of the Senate:

        ” We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race. The great misfortunes of Spanish America are to be traced to the fatal error of placing these colored races on an equality with the white race….

        Are we to associate with ourselves as equals, companions, and fellow-citizens, the Indians and mixed race of Mexico? [Mr. President], I would consider such a thing fatal to our institutions….

        We make a great mistake, sir, when we suppose that all people are capable of self-government. We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged in a very respectable quarter, that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a great mistake. None but people advanced to a very high state of moral and intellectual improvement are capable, in a civilized state, of maintaining free government.”

        His position won the day and would not be inconsistent with anything Stephen Miller might say.

    3. Perhaps you would enlighten us on the history of worldwide civilizations and identify the one (or more than one) that exemplifies the ideal model. Let’s say for instance we could unwind all the United States’ transgressions. Of course that would mean we would have to unwind any good that has come from us as well. We would certainly have to move eastward. How far east and how far back in time would we have to unwind things to find that point where no one was harmed; where no one was offended; where no one had to fear for their own security?

        1. We don’t have to unwind history when we can merely rewrite it.

          That’s actually a dodge. My questions had nothing to do with American exceptionalism or the rewriting of history. The questions were regarding the actual history. What is the reality of the history of western civilization? What is the reality of world history where we can identify that one culture or perhaps nation-state that secured the rights of the people equally? Certainly we should be able to discover that and then identify the root cause of how everything went downhill from there. Right?

          1. Your first question dealt with some mythical perfect nation whose model we should adopt. Your other questions brought history and reality into play. The reaction of most here to the reality of western history and civilization is to deny and/or minimalize it. It’s why the rewriting of US history in Texas schoolbooks and elsewhere is apt.

            1. The reaction of most here to the reality of western history and civilization is to deny and/or minimalize it.

              Wrong. Just because we don’t marinate in the negative realities of history does not mean we deny them or minimalize them. On the contrary, we need to know those realities so we learn from them. We also need to learn what has worked in every culture that improved the conditions and secured the rights of everyone equally.

              Of course there has never been some mythical perfect nation. The United States has never tried to be perfect or claimed to be perfect; only that we try to be more perfect. What nation has done more to achieve the principles identified in our DoI? Are we where we want to be? No. Are we more perfect than when we started? Yes.

              Our education system should not be indoctrinating students to just the debits or just the credits of our history. They need to teach the entire ledger; teach the students to understand the accounting of our history and if that teaching doesn’t reflect a positive balance, then the teachers have failed.

            2. No one is saying anything of the sort. Most commenters on this thread make one assumption, reasonable in my view: we do not have a perfect society today or a perfect history by our own standards, however, it does not follow that we should replace something pretty good with a postmodernist hell-hole. The United States for roughly the first two centuries as a union constantly strove to move our society toward the vision articulated in the Declaration of Independence and made steady but not smooth or perfect progress. That was a reasonable goal then, and it remains a reasonable goal now. Perfection is not for this world, but steady improvement seems a worthy and attainable goal.

    4. Manifest Destiny was a Progressive movement. As you will recall, Progressives believe in forcing social and other changes through government fiat.

      It would be very difficult to come up with a name that didn’t bother or offend anyone. For example, people could be offended merely at replacing the name “Pioneer.”

      Here is a paper on the cannibalism and torture of prisoners commonly practice in the Iroquois, and indeed other tribes in the NorthEast. This is to bring perspective on this persistent meme that European Americans behaved worse than other nations or tribes. The reality was that the past was brutal, and the severity was a matter of degree.

      “Scholars know that they ruthlessly tortured war prisoners and that they were cannibals; in the Algonquin tongue the word Mohawk actually means “flesh-eater.” There is even a story that the Indians in neighboring Iroquois territory would flee their homes upon sight of just a small band of Mohawks.”

      The paper discusses how the Huron, Naragansett, and Algonquin tribes used to be the dominant tribes in the area until the League of the Iroquois League formed from 5 tribes, and promptly oppressed, enslaved, raped, and even ate them.

      As our nation elevates the Native Americans over European settlers in morality, in a stark anachronism, let’s ponder this account of how Iroquois treated other tribes. Hint – they did not conform to the Geneva Convention.

      “Reverend Father Barthelemy Vimont presented a harrowing example of Iroquois torture that occurred in 1642 in The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents. In this account he told of an Iroquois war band that captured a small group of Algonquin and himself. Immediately the Iroquois cut off a few fingers from each captive using fish scales. The Iroquois intended to take the captives to their village. On the way one Algonquin woman, realizing what her fate would be, ran into a icy river and drowned herself rather than face the impending torture. Once they had arrived at their captors’ village, the Iroquois made their prisoners sing and dance upon a scaffold. Vimont’s companion, a converted Algonquin named Adrian, wouldn’t sing in the Iroquois’ language, and they slit his fingers lengthwise to cause him intense pain. Next they cleared the scaffold except for one Algonquin named Awessinipin, and they began burning his body with brands. The Iroquois forced an Algonquin woman to take a torch and burn Awessinipin and then killed her when she finally complied. Throughout this entire ordeal the Algonquin man showed no pain. They continued this torture throughout the night, building to a fervor, finally ending at sunrise by cutting his scalp open, forcing sand into the wound, and dragging his mutilated body around the camp. When they had finished, the Iroquois carved up and ate parts of his body.”

      This is why I take these wailings about Europeans conquering America with a grain of salt. Without European interference, the Aztec would still be building pillars of skulls out of thousands of men, women, and children, for who knows how many more hundreds of years. The Iroquois would still be torturing people all night and then eating them.

      The Jesuits Relations, The Explorations of Radisson, and Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison offer other detailed descriptions of Iroquois atrocities, but generally the torture followed the same pattern. First the victorious Iroquois warriors would mangle the prisoners’ hands; they did this by pulling out the captives’ fingernails and/or cutting off some of their fingers. The victors usually subjected the prisoners to a heavy beating at the same time. Thereafter the Iroquois took the captives to their village and subjected the men to the gantlet (or gauntlet). They then humbled those who survived in a number of ways; for example the Iroquois might strip them naked in front of the village and force them to sing and dance. This process always ended either in a slow death by fire and scalping or with adoption into the Iroquois village. The Iroquois tortured only men to death when they weren’t adopted; they either killed quickly women and children who were unadopted.

      There are definitely reasons behind this torture that do not extend into metaphysical domains. The initial beating obviously broke the spirits of the captive and ensured submission. The act of battering prisoners to break their will is no isolated policy of the Iroquois alone, but of nearly every race throughout history. At this time the Iroquois also mangled a prisoner’s hands, a brutality performed so that the captive could no longer wield a weapon. After returning to their village, the Iroquois used the gantlet to further break the spirits of the captives and to serve as a test of endurance and physical tolerance. The Iroquois would execute without ceremony those captives who fell and did not get up, which indicates disdain for mental and physical weakness. Indeed, the Iroquois expected even those captives who underwent subsequent lethal torture to stand strong and not cry out—the warriors would disgustedly dispatch a captive who lost his composure. As the night went by and the prisoner remained silent, the entire tribe would become more and more frenzied until the sun came up and the prisoner was killed. Thus it seems that torturing captives to death was a ritualized act of vengeance that was truly fulfilled only when its objective (making the victim respond to the torture) failed!

      The warriors were not the only ones who conducted the torture, however; the women and children of the village had just as much of an active role as the men did. While the captives were perched upon the scaffold, the children of the tribe would jab at the prisoner’s feet with knives. In addition to this, every person in the village took turns with the burning torches during the night ritual. In fact, the rest of the tribe would scorn anyone who did not partake in the torture as a weak and lazy individual. Because everyone took part, it becomes clear that besides being an act for grieving family members to vent their frustration on an unyielding victim and doing so feel avenged for the loved ones’ deaths, it was a reassertion of Iroquois dominance and power. Yet this second purpose seems of less importance considering the specialized nature of the mourning war. That is to say, the process of the mourning war is oriented far more towards the grieving matriarchs rather than the entire village.

      This can be said partly because lethal torture was not always the fate of the captives. In fact, the grieving Iroquois more often than not adopted the captive into his or her family. Only when the captives were feeble, old, or unusually ugly, or the Iroquois matriarchs were particularly upset or felt they had suffered a great loss, then death by torture would be the guaranteed result. This stems from the belief that a clan or village lost power when its members died. The best way to maintain that power in the eyes of the Iroquois was to maintain the status quo by getting another individual to take the place of the slain family member. Only later when European diseases killed off huge numbers of Native Americans and tradition broke down did lethal torture become more frequent than adoption.

  12. Native Americans or American indians originally came across to North America from what is now Russia.
    We should call them friggin Russians. Not Native Americans. They are migrants. They are creatures from another continent.

    1. Genetically, the “Native Americans” are Mongolian. So rename the Pioneers to the Mongols and be done with it.

      1. What did the ancient precursors to Mongolians do to the surviving Clovis Indians they encountered when they immigrated here to our continent?

        I noticed that Clovis DNA has been integrated in a number of tribes, but there is no exclusively genetic Clovis tribe left anymore.

        Why didn’t those encroaching new tribes let the Clovis Indians keep their hunting grounds and remain an intact tribe? What is the usual reason why a conquering people ends up with DNA of the people they displaced? (That’s a euphemism.)

  13. Native Americans need to form their own university in Denver. Call it Headress U.

  14. I think life must be pretty good for you, when all you have to b*tch about is crap that happened 150 years ago.

    For some people, life is spectacularly good, because all they can find to carp about happened in 1492.

    Meanwhile, in Africa and Central America and South America and Asia, people are starving, drinking water out of mud puddles, and dying of parasites and bug bites.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

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