Name change solution?
To the Journal editor:
I am not sure I have a valid opinion on the Redmen/Redette issue as I am a Southfield High Blue Jay (1977), and my daughter is a Negaunee Miner (2011), but I do, and as a City of Marquette taxpayer I think I have a right to an opinion, valid or not.
I am, frankly, ambivalent about “Redmen.” I am a non-first nation guy and don’t think I have right to speak for one.
However I think the decision should be left to them to find the name offensive or not.
We non-first nations don’t have the right to say what they should, or should not, find offensive. Perhaps the School Board should ask them? As a Jew, I can tell you though, if the name was the “Jewboys” or “Fighting Kikes,” regardless of the origin of the name, I’d be in front of the School Board every meeting saying “Really? Is this the best you can do?”
My real trouble is with the diminutive and hypocoristic formation “Redette.”
My daughter was on three varsity sports teams in Negaunee. She has a second degree black belt. Under no condition was (or is, for that matter) my daughter going to be anyone’s “-ette” or going to respond to a pet name (trust me on this one, or ask her yourself, if you dare). The name Redette is offensive to me as a father of a woman I consider every bit my, or any males, equal, and should be to all fathers (and mothers too if I may be so bold).
I do have a solution. This was suggested by a friend who does not want to be named, although he thinks that Redmen and Redette should be discarded: We should change the names to honor our Marquette heritage and origins to one that honors one of our founding fathers: Peter White. We should become the Marquette White Men and White Women. And wherever our kids go people would say, “Here come the conquering White Men.” or “The White Women beat us again.” Who could have a problem with that?