California State University Dumps “Prospector Pete” As Offensive

prospector peteI have previously expressed my concerns over the removal of long-held mascots and names in colleges from “the Cowboys” to “Shooter the Fox” to the Aztecs to the “Fighting Sioux” to “Chief Illini.” Now, the California State University at Long Beach has decided to dump its mascot, “Prospector Pete,” because some students complained that a gold miner from the 49ers is  “offensive.”

Prospector Pete represents the many settlers who came to California in the Gold Rush.  Because this period include violence against Native Americans, some students and groups have objected to the mascot.

The mascot was originally called the “The Forty-Niner Man,”  in 1967.  The choice of a 49er made sense for campus which was created in 1949 — one hundred years after the Gold Rush.

Nevertheless, President Jane Close Conoley declared “As our diversity grew and more voices were heard, we came to know that the 1849 California gold rush was a time in history when the indigenous peoples of California endured subjugation, violence, and threats of genocide.”

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times the school is now searching for a non-offensive mascot.  Good luck with that.

Once again, I fail to see why this mascot is not a representation of a critical and transformative time for the school. The 49ers faced great challenges in crossing the continent to seek a better life and then scratching out a living in search of nuggets.  It took no small degree of sacrifice and grit.  The objection is to the period not every person who immigrated to California to prospect.

What do you think?

46 thoughts on “California State University Dumps “Prospector Pete” As Offensive”

  1. How about “Paco” a MS-13 thug born in east LA? deported four times but likes Cali so much he’s back again, selling dope near campus?

    would that be racist?

    reminds me of that old parody song by the famous and talented actor Cheech Marin

    was that racist? was it at least, funny? i thought it was funny. am i racist?

  2. I read a newspaper article yesterday about a man in Washington state who purchased a DNA kit that he saw advertised on t.v. Much to his surprise, he found out that he is 4% Native American. But being an enterprising American, he then applied for minority status with a state program that gives preference to minority business owners. The state rejected his application, on the basis that he doesn’t look like an Indian, wasn’t culturally affiliated with any Indian groups, and had never suffered as a result of being an Indian. He appealed, and pointed out that there is nothing in the program that requires a minority applicant to have suffered actual disadvantage; for example, Michael Jordan’s son would be eligible. In any case, he vows to appeal to SCOTUS if necessary. He said he feels that minority set-aside programs are racist and if any preference is to be given, it should be based on social class, not race or gender.

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