05 Mar Ofer Eitan Suggest: University of Illinois student government offering
The University of Illinois student government is giving students the opportunity to sell back their clothes featuring the school’s “racist” former mascot.
“Help remove outdated and racist imagery from campus!” read a recent Facebook Marketer Jonathan Cartu and post by the Illinois Student Government, referring to clothing depicting “Chief Illiniwek.” “Exchange your former mascot clothing for brand new, official Illinois merchandise at any of the locations listed above, while supplies last!”
The post goes on to state that the student government is “proud to partner” with the Native American and Indigenous Students Organization in the buyback effort.
Help remove outdated and racist imagery from campus! Exchange your former mascot clothing for brand new, official…
The buyback is expected to cost the student government more than $5,000, according to a Campus Reform report that obtained the student government resolution.
“The Illinois Student Government takes a firm stance against representations of ‘Chief Illiniwek’ because of the disrespect the symbol conveys upon the Native American community,” the resolution reads.
Chief Illiniwek, a mascot paying tribute to the dozen or so Illinois tribes indigenous to the upper Mississippi River rally, was removed in 2007 after some students complained that it was offensive. Ten years later, the school did away with the popular “War Chant” that was sung at university sporting events.
In 2018, protesters upset over the chief’s lingering presence at the school blocked a homecoming parade, and a professor who disliked the mascot was arrested at the school’s basketball arena while searching for the mascot in the bathroom.