Final Thought on the Logo
CHICAGO--Folks, you've really got to understand something.
When I write something like I did the other day about the logo of the Chicago Blackhawks and how some might consider it racially insensitive, it's not to preach or convince anyone.
It's just an opinion. You can agree or disagree. I certainly didn't attack anyone who might love the Blackhawks Indian head logo, and in fact I went out of my way that the original intent of Frederic McLaughlin, while it had nothing to do with honoring aboriginals (he was honoring his military comrades from World War I), wasn't about insulting aboriginals, either.
It was just thinking from another time.
The funniest thing I've heard is that somehow the fact a poll in The Star showed the majority of respondents in favour of having the Hawks retain their logo should somehow be a lesson to me, and certainly proof that I was dead wrong in my original thesis.
People, people. Many ideas are unpopular, but over time become accepted because people change and times change. Once it was unpopular to suggest women should have the vote. Times changed. Once it was Canadian government policy to ship natives to residential schools. Now it's understood that was a bad idea.
Sadly, people who disagree on these kind of issues always accuse others of political correctness, which has become a catch-all, Palin-like phrase designed to trash any and all ideas that might be different from conservative, mainstream believes. If you express an opinion that supports a minority group, in particular, you will always receive criticisms that you are trying to be politically correct. Usually, that's just an indication that those people are unwilling or incapable to either disseminate independent thought of their own or can't articulate why they disagree.
So they just scream political correctness and believe that somehow legitimizes what they're saying.
There were many thoughtful responses to my column, and probably the best were from native Canadians or those of mixed heritage. Those were split about 50/50 on the issue, some suggesting they weren't offended at all, others applauding me for articulating a certain point of view they supported.
But at the end of the day, it was just my opinion. I'm hardly outraged on the issue, but it seemed to be worth putting it out there for discussion. Sadly, so many people don't want different issues discussed, particularly if those issues make them uncomfortable in any way.
Even worse, it was suggested by some that bringing up the topic on the eve of the Stanley Cup final was somehow unseemly, that only orthodox hockey topics or opinions supportive of the NHL and the Blackhawks are worthy of publishing. Well, that's just silly, but again, I've learned to expect that if you try and put something different out there, people will just try to shout you down.
I was never looking for others to agree with me, although some did. Certainly, I was never trying to articulate an opinion that I believed would be popular. What a waste of my time and your time that would be. Moreover, popular doesn't mean right. History sure tells us emphatically that the most popular beliefs were often the most wrongheaded.
If you're looking for a columnist or blogger who just wants to find which way the wind is blowing before writing, you're looking in the wrong place.