he Chiefs will remain the Chiefs. Stop arguing that point. It’s a straw man.”
–Sam Mellinger Kansas City Star
The above quote is the final paragraph of a recent column in the Kansas City Star.
Which is around the 4th or 5th story by the sinking newspaper that was just sold at a bargain basement price to bring them out of bankruptcy.
Seems to me the main one suggesting to change the name or branding elements of the Super Bowl Champ Chiefs is the Star.
The suggestion of course, is part of the popular movement to change the names and acts of anything that can be interpreted as having the slightest hint of so-called racism.
First off, as most serious Chiefs fans know, the Chiefs name was selected to honor former KC mayor H Roe Bartle,who helped convince the Dallas Texans to choose Kansas City as their new home.
And branding elements like the chop, Warpaint, the war drum and arrowhead seemed fitting to help solidify the Chiefs in the hearts and minds of Kansas City sports fans.
Speaking of Kansas City and the surrounding area, there are any number of other examples of honoring Native Americans in the area.
Let’s review a few.
Shawnee Mission: named after an Indian mission just west of the Plaza (FYI, there are some horrendous stories about the man who started the mission).
The Kaw River: Named after a local Indian tribe:
Kansas City: Named after the Kansa Indians (another name for the Kaw Indian tribe).
What about grade schools like Cherokee, Apache, Indian Creek and Indian Valley?
Should we tear down the landmark Indian Scout statue that overlooks Penn Valley Park?
We have Tomahawk and Indian creeks and Indian Hills Country Club.
The point being that much of Kansas City’s heritage is tied to Native American Indians.
When I first moved to Kansas City from St Louis in 1959 – yep, I’m pretty old – I literally was excited at age 10 at the prospect of seeing real, live Indians walking the streets.
Because everywhere I went there were names, statues and plaques honoring Native Americans.
I thought it was pretty cool.
So let’s put a stop to a failing newspaper trying to be the tail that wags the dog.
Once we start changing names, tearing down statues and rewriting history, it will never end, and my grandchildren will never learn a thing about American history.
For the record, I believe Native Americans and their treatment by our forefathers was horrendous and despicable.
I also believe the examples I’ve listed here are honoring a proud people, not degrading them.
As for fear of the Chiefs having to change the team’s name being a “straw man” argument, does Mellinger have a clue?
Is he unaware that the Cleveland Indians are on the verge of changing their team name? Or of the suggestions that the use of an arrowhead in the Chiefs logo and stadium name has to go?
And how much longer before the nation’s capital has to change its name because at one point in time George Washington was a slave owner. Which is far worse than what Country Club Plaza patriarch J.C. Nichols ever did, and look what happened to him?
The definition of a straw man argument – that a “fallacy occurs when someone takes another person’s argument or point, distorts it or exaggerates it in some kind of extreme way, and then attacks the extreme distortion, as if that is really the claim the first person is making” – is bogus where Mellinger’s argument is concerned.
Because given the current politically correct climate, pretty much everything is on the table – from the name of Jackson County on down – and somewhat obviously that includes everything Chiefs fans hold near and dear being up for grabs…including the team name.