Ohio's Jim Flechtner is demanding that the Aesculus glabra, better known as the Ohio Buckeye be revoked of state tree status because it bears male, female and bisexual flowers on the same tree.
Flechtner wrote in his letter to The Courier last week:
“The buckeye is our state tree and most of us gladly wear the nickname, "buckeyes." But it is shameful and unacceptable that a bisexual tree should represent us! We are flaunting the Holy Bible!
I urge everyone to contact their state representative and demand legislation removing the buckeye as our state tree and condemning the use of the term "buckeye" as a nickname for residents of Ohio.”
It reads like satire, so he’s joking, right? Should people discriminate against state trees based solely on their sexual orientation? And what happens now to Brutus, Ohio State's beloved mascot now that he's been outed as a possibly-bisexual Buckeye nut? He's a public employee.
Ohio already bans discrimination in jobs, housing or public accommodation based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or military status. However, he's vulnerable as a member of an unprotected class should anyone garner enough support to raise a stink.
Florida State University Seminoles
The Seminoles are one of Florida's major Native American tribes, and the name given to FSU's football team. Fans discuss how their Seminoles are doing at the fan site named <a href="http://www.tomahawknation.com/" target="_hplink">Tomahawk Nation</a>. <strong>Correction</strong>: An earlier version of this slide said that all Native Americans in Florida are named Seminoles.
Rhode Island School Of Design
The Nads. The Balls. It's not a name that is affiliated with any ethnic group, but it blazes a different path of <a href="http://topcollegesonline.org/10-most-controversial-college-mascots-ever/" target="_hplink">offensiveness</a>. The athletics at the school <a href="http://collegeprowler.com/rhode-island-school-of-design/athletics/" target="_hplink">aren't considered</a> to be a top priority for the most part, so what else would you expect? Go Nads! (<em>Heh</em>.)
University Of Illinois
Meet Chief Illiniwek. You can <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCiSbWXo77M&loc=interstitialskip" target="_hplink">see him do his dance</a> here. This is the <em>former</em> mascot for the University of Illinois. There have been <a href="http://topcollegesonline.org/10-most-controversial-college-mascots-ever/" target="_hplink">protests against him</a> in the past, but when put to a vote, it turned out a majority of students supported keeping him as the mascot.
Stanford University is now represented as the Cardinal, but there was a time when they were the Stanford Indians. <a href="http://www.nativetimes.com/archives/22/2193-around-the-campfire-racism-and-mascots" target="_hplink">Activist students pursued</a> getting the university to agree to changing the name, and they were successful in doing so in the 1970s.
Dartmouth, like Stanford, was known as the Indians until students protested it, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartmouth_Big_Green" target="_hplink">although it was unofficial</a>. Eventually school officials made it clear where they stood and denounced the name "Indians." Now they have another unofficial mascot: Keggy the Keg.
Racism in mascots is not just a plague afflicting college sports. A number of professional teams -- Blackhawks, Braves, Redskins, Indians -- have mascots that some consider to be derogatory toward Native Americans. Recently, Jim Vance, anchor at Washington, D.C.'s NBC affiliate, did some <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/you-know-whats-linsane-th_n_1304733.html" target="_hplink">commentary on what he considered</a> "Linsane" -- namely, the Washington NFL team's name: <blockquote>A few days ago, a couple guys at ESPN got in a boatload of trouble when they got too cute with the Jeremy Lin phenomenon. The puns were bad enough, but they used a racial slur to describe one of Lin's lesser performances for the New York Knicks. A lot of people found that offensive, and probably racist, and they're probably right. What I find curious is how some people I've talked to are offended by a derogatory term for Asians, but not by the word 'Redskin.' Folks, 'Redskins' is not a term of endearment, any more than the N word or any other racial or ethnic slur. From its inception and inclusion in our language, it was meant to be an insult. </blockquote>
Corner Canyon High School
Sometimes a mascot can be offensive before it even becomes a mascot. That was the case with Corner Canyon High School, when the school wanted to make their mascot the Cougars, and it was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/cougar-mascot-vetoed-for-_n_1218779.html" target="_hplink">deemed inappropriate</a> and "offensive to women."