To the Journal editor:
My name is Megan Anderegg Malone and I am a member of the Marqutte Senior High School Class of 1997. During my years at MSHS, I received a stellar education from world-class teachers and I was enthusiastically involved in all aspects of student life, from student government to “High School Bowl.”
I was recently made aware of a renewed effort to rename the MSHS mascot and I am writing to express my unequivocal support for this change. My reason for this is rooted in an old cheer we used to do at football games:
“We are the Redmen, the mighty mighty Redmen.
“Everywhere we go, people want to know,
“Who we are,
“So we tell them.”
By keeping and defending the Redman mascot, the people of Marquette are, indeed, telling the world who they are.
They are telling the world that Marquette is a place where tradition is valued over equality and that Marquette is a place where the … majority gets to decide what is “offensive,” without regard for how those decisions affect marginalized populations. They are signaling that they are on the wrong side of history. And the thing is, I know that the people of Marquette are better than that.
Some make an argument that the Redman name was never intended to reference Native Americans, saying it was inspired by an early superintendent’s alma mater, Harvard, or by the red dust from the iron mines that tinged students’ clothing in the high school’s early days. But even if one of these origin stories are true, it doesn’t matter.
The majority … population of Marquette does not get to decide what the word “redman” is intended to mean. The word has a dark history of discrimination, persecution and inequity that continues to this day. The Redman is akin to a Confederate flag in a Southern town; just because it is a part of our history doesn’t mean we have to continue using it today.
I want to be proud of my hometown and my alma mater without reservation. Just like the old cheer says, I want the people Marquette to tell the world who they are: caring, generous people who understand that the inclusive and welcoming community spirit of Marquette is undermined by embracing this outdated mascot.
Tell the world and make the change.