Undercurrents

The 'Noles offend more than just the Gators

Hey, notice something a bit different on these pages?


To us, the most offending aspect of Florida State University's use of Indian symbolism is that obnoxious "tomahawk chop" chant that permeates every game.But to many Native Americans the school's "howling Indian" logo and the use of an indigenous tribe's name, namely the Seminoles, is a racial stereotype that needs to be eliminated.

One might think that the leader of the Seminole tribe might object to the use of his tribe's image in this rather crass way, but in this case the leader is Tribal Chairman James Billie, and it is wrong to assume much of anything about this man.

"It doesn't offend us in any way," Billie told Native American journalists recently at a convention in Fort Lauderdale. He has previously said that "as long as the Seminoles keep winning, we're happy."

Others on the panel, of course, had condemned the use of such mascots. For instance many were insulted by the use of the name "Redskins," which was historically a nasty term for Indians who had been killed for their scalps, "like a beaver pelt." Many Native Americans also feel the mascots and symbols provide an inaccurate caricature that promotes racism and is, at the very least, historically incorrect.

Wearing a traditional shirt, Billie counterattacked by blasting "Gucci-wearing Indians" who want to give the undefeated Seminoles (that's in wars, not football games) advice on how to conduct their business. Billie says his tribe "never felt this defeatism," and that, as far as Redskins and the color red, it is the warrior's color anyway, and he wore it on his uniform in Vietnam.

Billie thinks there are weightier issues to battle over. Like casinos.


Leave it to the publisher of a business newspaper like the South Florida Business Journal to figure out a way to profit from a favor.The man, with the appropriate name of Gary Press, used his connections to obtain ten tickets to Bruce Springsteen's sold-out New York City concert. Saxophonist, E Street Band legend, and Palm Beach County resident Clarence Clemons used his pull with the Boss to get the tickets for Press, who paid face value of 70 bucks apiece.

But then we're told that five tickets appeared on a Springsteen Website for $200 apiece with Press saying a bit disingenuously that he was looking to get back what he paid. Apparently the strait-laced Business Journal can't provide its management an appropriate expense account.

Clemons' manager, Darlene DeLano, was tipped off to the free enterpriser's moneymaking scheme and demanded the tickets back, according to media accounts. Ironically Press did get back what he paid for the tickets and missed out on the music. Press was unavailable for comment.


Now for that difference. The ol' gray newspaper pages you were used to seeing here have been infused with some more light and harmony, we think. In the business they call it a redesign.

Now we could throw some redesign-speak at you such as: readable typography, picture priority, coupling to the Internet, rejuvenating design. You could throw back: goofy icons, blaring headlines, gargantuan photos.

But in the end we are all about words and pictures. So, the type is easier to read and the pictures more prominent. That said, we didn't want to get lost in the visually exciting and not be able to find our way back to the informative aspect.

Does it work? You tell us."It doesn't offend us in any way." Billie has previously said that "as long as the Seminoles keep winning, we're happy."

Wearing a traditional shirt, Billie counterattacked by blasting "Gucci-wearing Indians" who want to give the undefeated Seminoles (that's in wars, not football games) advice on how to conduct their business.

Got a tip? Call 954-233-1581, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail
undercurrents@newtimesbpb.com.

 
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