Nickname change a process

To the Journal editor:

I thank The Mining Journal for its Dec.18 editorial in support of a change to the Marquette Senior High School team nicknames. You conclude that editorial by stating, “If only one person is offended, that’s enough.”

The nickname should be changed because it causes harm, not offense. Both the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association have made this plain in their statements advocating retirement of Native American nicknames and logos.

Don’t find those statements by professional organizations convincing? As it happens, we have, right here in Marquette, actual students — current and former — who have made eloquent public statements about their personal experience as Native American students living with the Redmen nickname.

Faced with these statements — from our neighbors, who live here among us, and not from ivory tower professors — we have a choice. We can believe these students, choose kindness, and seek an alternative nickname that is welcoming to all students, now and into the future. Or we can make dismissive statements (“These snowflakes!”) and choose not to listen. I know many good people who want to keep the name. I respect them and I know that they respect me. I also have great respect for the teachers, administrators, staff, and students who make our schools the wonderful places that they are. I know that this community will be able to get through this difficult — but necessary — process and come out stronger in the end.