#1 Private college dumps ‘Missionaries’ mascot because it’s ‘noninclusive and imperialistic’ by Cincinnatus 25.04.2016 16:12


Political correctness hits close to home, physically anyway, and another knife is sunk into our historical heritage.

Whitman College is tired of perpetuating imperialism and Christianity. Sort of.

The private liberal arts school in Washington state is dumping its “Missionaries” mascot because it’s considered “noninclusive, imperialistic and incorrectly implied that Whitman was a religious school,” the Associated Press reports.

Whitman was named after a missionary couple, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, who came to the region to evangelize the local Cayuse Indians. They were murdered along with other settlers by that very tribe after a measles epidemic.

Graham Storey, class of 1995, notes that Marcus Whitman is one of the state’s two statues in the U.S. Capitol, and asks why the school didn’t justify a mascot change based on missionaries not being “fearsome enough” in a sports context:

“But the given justification for changing the mascot is a misguided act of atonement to make up for some perceived imperialistic stain that Marcus Whitman engaged in 180 years ago.” …

Those who feel the word Missionary is offensive must logically push to change the name of the college, Storey said.

“As far as my future with the college is concerned; I am done,” Storey said. “No more donations.”

President Kathleen Murray said the college isn’t changing its name. A survey of alumni, students and community members – with a response rate of 39 percent – found that about three in five respondents supported ditching the mascot.


They aren't going to rename the college? Shameful. I feel threatened.

Some background: The Whitmans, as noted in the article, were Christian missionaries who helped establish the Oregon Trail, an extremely arduous journey in those days.. Narcissa, in fact, was the first white woman, or one of the first , to cross the Rockies. They were both murdered by Indians after a measles outbreak killed a number of Indians who lacked immunity. Marcus Whitman was a physician and the Indians accused him of caring more for whites who got the disease as more whites, with greater immunity, survived. Resentment over the measles deaths and over white encroachment into Cayuse territory led to an attack on the Whitman Mission which was near what became Walla Walla and the death of about a dozen Americans and the capture for ransom of several others.

For the Indians the whole affair backfired badly. Several of their leaders were captured, put on trial for murder, and hung. Outrage at what the Cayuse had done spurred the US Government to become more heavily involved in the Pacific NW which led to even greater white migration into the area.

Whitman College is a small, very exclusive, very expensive, highly rated academically school located in Walla Walla. Ironically, as with Harvard and Yale, Whitman was founded as a missionary school (but it's not Christian, of course) in tribute to the Whitmans. You probably have never heard of it but it really does have a reputation for academic excellence, exclusivity, and for being quite expensive to attend.

As to its mascot there has never been any controversy until recently and its change appears to be caused mostly by a move to disassociate itself from its Christian heritage. Sad, but why the half measures? If they really cared they would rename the college after one of the Indians who was hung for murdering the Whitmans. That would show true feeling.

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