Political correctness -- gone too far?

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In the past week the news media has been rife with reports relating to political correctness. More specifically, television chef Paula Deen lost her job for making racial slurs sometime in the past. Radnor High School has lost its Native American mascot. And now we hear that Kate Gosselin (the famous mother of sextuplets) has been criticized because she once imitated a Geisha.

Reminds us of the to-do in Kennett Square years back when the borough had plans for a statue of hometown hero Herb Pennock squashed because of a rumor relating to how he once referred to black Dodger superstar Jackie Robinson.

But now what is immediately close to home for the folks in southern Chester County is that two schools, Unionville and Octorara, have an Indian and a Brave respectively as their mascots.

Whats going on?

Have political activists in these districts been complaining that descendants of the countrys first inhabitants might be offended that teams have adopted their kin as symbols? We have rarely if ever heard anyone make disparaging comments about the Unionville and Octorara mascots or the people who inspired them.

We were happy to hear Octorara Superintendent Thomas Newcome say candidly that not everyone is entirely happy with the Brave symbol. But we were also quite pleased with his wise handling of the situation.

First, he said the district aims to honor Native Americans, even to the point of teaching its students in the early grades the acronym for BRAVES: bold, responsible, ambitious, virtuous, energetic and selfless.

He also pointed out that the statue of the Brave in front of the high school is holding a diploma, not a weapon.

Unionville Superintendent John Sanville told the paper the Indian has been around his district for at least 55 years -- maybe more, and it has not become an issue.

He even acknowledged that if he got wind of complaints, he would convene a committee to deal with it.

We regret that the people of Radnor appeared to have nothing better to complain about than the nature of their mascot. Better that they complain about the glut of tests their children are being forced to endure.

Most Americans appreciate and honor Indians. To be associated with them represents the strength of a people who were skilled at agriculture, outdoor survival and cordial hosting of European settlers in the 17th century.

To appreciate the Indian is to honor Sacagawea, the brave Indian who guided Lewis and Clark, ingratiating them with the tribes along the way and finding them new horses when theirs had been stolenall this with her baby, Jean Baptiste, at her side.

To choose the Brave or the Indian as a symbol of strength is an honor, not an insult.

Taken to its extreme, those easily offended sports fans who have taken on Radnor might also complain about the Kennett Demons and the Avon Grove Red Devils because of some demonic connection.

And who knows? Are they going to complain about the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians or even the University of Southern California?

Were hoping that modern day Scandinavians dont take offense with teams being called Vikings, or that sons of sons of sailors dont object to a team being called Pirates . or Quakers. They might be the next ones to lose their mascots.

Lighten up. There are worse things than being called a Brave or a Viking or a Demon.

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