A group of students at Louisiana State University is now demanding that the school eliminate its 122-year-old tiger mascot, because the animal represents “white privilege” and “racism.”
A change.org petition, entitled “Change the Racist Mascot of LSU!,” demands that the school take action to dump the tiger mascot because it was named “during the height of Jim Crow South.”
LSU named the tiger as its mascot back in 1895, taking the symbol from one of the state’s hardest fighting civil war battalions known as the “Louisiana Tigers.”
Wheat’s Louisiana Tigers, or the First Louisiana Infantry, became one of the Confederate Army’s most celebrated infantry units and fought in the Eastern Theater from the first days of the war and also under Robert E. Lee until the surrender at Appomattox Court House. It was often employed as the Confederacy’s shock troops, meant to strike fear in its opponents, especially early in the war when Northern forces were so poorly led.
But, students now want the more than century-old mascot eliminated due to its origin, despite that it has not been associated directly with the Confederacy for many decades.
Really? I mean really? The tiger is racist? C’mon now…
First of all, to everyone else who isn’t a student there, it’s just a tiger. Just like with the Atlanta Falcons it’s just a falcon, and with the Chicago Bulls it’s just a bull. There is no other meaning associated with it.
Second, you would think of all universities to be upset over such a thing, it would be Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish. Hell, it literally calls them out by ethnicity. But you don’t see any protests about them now do you?
Speaking of the Irish… (from Wikipedia):
The origin of the term came from the “Tiger Rifles,” a volunteer company raised in the New Orleans area as part of Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat’s 1st Special Battalion, Louisiana Volunteer Infantry (2nd Louisiana Battalion). A large number of the men were foreign-born, particularly Irish Americans, many from the city’s wharves and docks. Many men had previous military experience in local militia units or as filibusters. They (and the regiments that later became known as the Tigers) were organized and trained at Camp Moore…
When work was available, these men, mostly recent Irish immigrants, were often relegated to do the most dangerous of tasks, such as servicing decrepit steam engines on Mississippi River packets or digging canals or drainage ditches in the fetid swamps of the lower Mississippi because slaves were too valuable to lose. “The [slaves] are worth too much to be risked,” recounted one calculating steamboat pilot. “If the Paddies are knocked overboard or get their backs broke nobody loses anything.” Another boat pilot explained that the reason why slaves were not used as stokers on the aged packets was because “every time a boiler bursts [the owners] would lose so many dollars’ worth of slaves; whereas by getting Irishmen at a dollar-a-day they pay for the article [the Irish worker] as they get it, and if it’s blown up, they get another.”
So the Louisiana Tigers weren’t named after a bunch of slave owners after all. They were named after a bunch of poor Irishmen whose lives were less valuable than slaves.
I’m willing to bet the person who started the petition didn’t even look into the basic facts and history surrounding the Louisiana Tigers and just shouted “WHITE PRIVILEGE” as soon they thought they had something to complain about.
At the time of this article, this petition only has 651 student signatures… out of a student body of more than 30,000.
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