George Washington University has quietly started removing references to its “Colonials” mascot in response to a student body referendum from last spring that voted to change the school mascot due to its allegedly “racist” and “offensive” connotations.
Although the mascot is currently still the Colonial, some campus fixtures have had their names changed to conform to the preference of students.
For example, “Colonial Central,” the student center for registration and financial services, is now the “Student Services Hub.”
The student group “Colonial Army,” which motivates students to attend university sporting events, now goes by “George’s Army.”
However, the group claims the change had nothing to do with the referendum, but was merely part of an effort to “remedy the group’s declining participation at basketball games.”
Some well-known parts of campus are still unscathed. The Colonial Health Center and Colonial Crossroads (where students can obtain information about campus organizations and study abroad programs) have not yet been changed.
The spring referendum narrowly passed with a 54-percent vote in favor of changing the college’s mascot. Only 5,000 students (less than half of the 12,000-strong student body) voted.
Those who supported a mascot change said the word “colonial” is tainted by racism and oppression — and should be replaced by something more “inclusive.”
The text of the petition that established the ballot read:
We, as students of the George Washington University, believe it is of great exigence that the University changes its official mascot. The use of Colonials, no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large.
The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression.
The petition recommended as alternative mascots the “Hippos,” “Revolutionaries,” or “Riverhorses.”
The university itself did not take a stance on the issue, telling the GW Hatchet that “the leadership of the University will continue to listen to our students, faculty, staff and alumni as we study various naming issues.”
The GWU chapter of Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth organization, issued a statement opposing the mascot change, calling the colonial a “unifying symbol” and describing the mascot change as “an effort to divide the GWU community.”
“A colonial is defined as ‘a member or inhabitant of a colony,’ which stands in stark contrast to the notion pushed by those in favor of a mascot change.… The term ‘colonial,’ in the context of our mascot, refers to those who inhabited the thirteen colonies in North America. Furthermore, it symbolizes the opposition to British tyranny and a desire for independence.”
In a video published by Campus Reform over the summer, a number of GWU students said they are not proud to be an American under President Trump.
The college’s erasing of references to the country’s colonial era comes as the progressive movement continues to target American history as “offensive,” “racist,” and “oppressive.”
Nike, for example, recently sparked controversy when it removed the so-called Betsy Ross flag (with its 13 stars and stripes) from its Air Max 1 USA shoe after company spokesman and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick called the flag an “offensive symbol” with a “connection to an era of slavery.”
By that logic, any part of history from before the U.S. Civil War can be considered racist because it was an era in which slavery was practiced in the country.
TNA has pointed out the absurdity of calling Betsy Ross or the flag she made “pro-slavery”: “Betsy Ross was a member of the Quakers, among the first groups in colonial America to take a public stand against slavery. She never owned any slaves, and in fact, she resided in Philadelphia, where slavery was already illegal. It is a libelous comment to say that she sewed slavery into the flag, or into anything else.”
Leftists have repeatedly protested (often successfully) for the removal of the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments, along with name changes to schools and other public facilities named after Confederate icons.
But even more seemingly innocuous figures have been targeted, as in the case of Hofstra University students earlier this year who called on campus authorities to take down a statue of Thomas Jefferson — citing his slave ownership as problematic.
Ultimately, this scrubbing of history is nothing less than an effort to discard America’s founding principles by defining them as inherently racist.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.