Jump to content

DPS approves Denver South High move to drop 'racist' logo


roxfan00

Recommended Posts

genthumb-2.jpg

MORE ON 9NEWS AT 5 PM

DENVER - A controversial Denver high school insignia that looks like a Confederate soldier will be replaced by a mythological beast after a student presentation to the school board Thursday.

Students and the principal from Denver's South High School came to the board's Thursday meeting to ask them to drop the "Johnny Rebel" logo that has represented the school for decades.

Board members expressed their support, and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg said the change will be made.

"I grew up on the Mason-Dixon Line," Boasberg said. "I understand the power and the meaning of these symbols."

South's teams will still be called the Rebels, but the Confederate soldier will be gone, replaced by an insignia based on the griffin built into the architecture outside the entrance of the building, constructed in 1925, near Washington Park.

The griffin is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and wings of an eagle.

The school's presentation featured a sophomore's impassioned speech, a petition signed by scores of students and a mockup of a new professionally designed insignia.

"We cannot get rid of this racist symbol on our own," said 16-year-old Donavan Hilton. "We need your help."

Hilton was part of a walkout last year at the school in protest of the Johnny Rebel image that "represents someone who was willing to fight and die for the suppression of African-Americans," he said.

"People have turned a blind eye to this racist image, and when a blind eye is turned to things that are unacceptable, unacceptable things can happen," Hilton told the board.

Principal William Kohut said there has been controversy over the mascot for decades.

"It's been an issue at South ever since I have been at the school, and I have been there 22 years," Kohut said.

Some alumni have disagreed with ditching the Rebel name, Kohut said.

The current student body compromised and agreed to keep the Rebel name but change the image to the griffin.

The shift will require changing insignias posted in every DPS high school gymnasium, painting the new logo on South's walls, producing two nylon flags with the new image and using carpets with the new insignia to cover up the old mascot that is ingrained in the floor.

Kohut estimated the cost to the district to be about $15,000.

"Do it," said Kevin Patterson, school board member.

A separate plea came Thursday night from several prominent Denver leaders, including former Mayor Wellington Webb, who are seeking a change in policy in naming of schools.

Their goal is to have the board name a school building after Evie Dennis, the district's first and only African-American superintendent and first female superintendent.

Dennis is still alive, but the district's current naming policy requires the naming honor be made posthumously.

"People should receive their roses while they can still smell them," said Regis Groff, a former state senator.

In other action, the board approved the calendar for the next two school years, moving to five early-release days for negotiated professional development days instead of late-start days that vexed parents so much this year.

9News.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I like the griffin logo, but it doesn't make sense with "Rebels." Should've changed names, or used a mascot to reflect a different group of Rebels.

Good to see them drop the Confederate imagery, though. Good riddance.

Agreed. And not good riddance because Confederate nostalgia is necessarily racist. Good riddance because the rebellion was treason, and also because Colorado was never part of the Confederacy. But mainly because of the treason thing. Treason against the United States is offensive regardless of any questions of race.

Besides, if the school's griffons are so recognizable that they can serve as a logo, then there's no excuse for that not being the school nickname in the first place. If your school actually has an easily identified characteristic, then you don't go looking for some other, generic nickname.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're right - "Griffins" would have been the perfect built-in nickname.

Nostalgia for the Confederacy might not necessarily be racist, but if so it's born out of ignorance. Revisionist history notwithstanding, the Civil War was largely about slavery. Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas all said so loudly and proudly when they seceded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am more impressed that this was done by a group of students. The power of Democracy prevails.

Raytown South for a bit used a Rebel logo and flew a confederate flag through the 60s and early 70s.

It was dropped, but I have no reason why. I am not from Raytown. I know why schools having the label,

"South" used the logo/confederate flag.

I am glad they are getting rid of the last institutions of "Jim Crow" labels/icons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Growing up in the south, and with distant relatives who fought in the war for both sides, I think it's ridiculous to say that nostalgia for the confederacy is born out of ignorance.

In no way do I feel that the people of the south would be better off today had the south won the war, nor do I agree with many of the principles the secession was founded on, but the nostalgia for it is strictly from a historical standpoint.

The consequences of secession and having rebel troops of the confederacy held prevalent for a century following the war and some would argue the effects are continuing today, and it's ignorant/unrealistic to expect all memory and nostalgia to be forgotten from the period that helped shape the entire American landscape.

Admiral, I know from personal experiences that many of the citizens of Alabama would take offense to your remark, as many in the state have tried to move past prejudiced stereotypes in the last 30-40 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look, I'm not going to try to start anything here, but you have to understand that I grew up in south Georgia, and this so called 'racist' symbol is nothing more than a logo for a high school. I think many have the misconception that the war between the states was about slavery. The Civil war was NOT about slavery. People continue thinking that if you take away everything that involves the secession, that the history of that event will magically disappear. That is not the way it works. When I see a confederate flag or a logo like that, I don't think there is anything racist about it at all. Symbols like that should be looked at in a way as to teach our younger generations that our nation was not always the land of the free, however, look at how far we have come in that time. Look at how much our nation has grown. Why does it always have to be a 'racist' thing? It's just sad to me that people are still not over this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The consequences of secession and having rebel troops of the confederacy held prevalent for a century following the war and some would argue the effects are continuing today, and it's ignorant/unrealistic to expect all memory and nostalgia to be forgotten from the period that helped shape the entire American landscape.

It's been 150 years. What effects are still present?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The consequences of secession and having rebel troops of the confederacy held prevalent for a century following the war and some would argue the effects are continuing today, and it's ignorant/unrealistic to expect all memory and nostalgia to be forgotten from the period that helped shape the entire American landscape.

It's been 150 years. What effects are still present?

My point exactly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the fact that many southerners still religiously display the Confederate flag is a bit disturbing to me.

Well I can tell you from growing up in Georgia that you 'hear' about more people doing it than people 'actually' doing it. Of course some do. I suppose they have their reasons, but I have never felt the need to. I was upset over the outcry over the state flag and the farce that followed it. But the new state flag looks more like the 'real' confederate states flag than the old one did. It's just that the confederate battle flag is the only one anyone knows or cares about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, people care about the battle flag because it's been co-opted and perverted into a symbol of hate, no matter what anyone tries to say about "southern identity" and "states' rights" or whatever. That's not what that particular flag means now and they know it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nowadays, a lot of Southern-ancestry folks display the Confederate flag...but it's a symbol of Southern pride (NOT racism) in that case.

And did I tell you my alma mater (Washington Park HS Panthers) archrivals (William Horlick HS) are called the Rebels? Scarlet and grey color scheme, Confederate soldier mascot, but their primary symbol is the North Star (Polaris), because Horlick's the northside school, while Park's the southside school.

The reason THEY'RE called the Rebels, though, is because Park is the continuation of the former Racine High School, while Horlick was built by malted milk mogul William A. Horlick against the District's will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horlick High School is my alma mater, I graduated in 1991, they had a large flag hanging on the wall in the fieldhouse that had the look of the Confederate Flag. The difference was it had a large gray start in the middle and the stars on the crossing stripes were removed. That was taken down after a group of students complained that it looked like the Confederate Flag.

The school uses a version of the University of Virginia type logo. H above the crossing swords.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a lot more to Confederate/southern imagery and nostalgia than racism. People celebrating their roots and past isn't racist. Personally I don't see it as any different than all the immigrant and citizens who have the Mexican, Dominican, whatever-ican flags out and on their cars and stuff. I don't even think I've ever seen a 'true', unbastardized Confederate flag being flown, minus the huge nationally known one down here.

Kinda off topic: What does 'Bourica" mean? I see it on cars all the time; my hypothesis is that it is Spanish for "bad driver".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saying the Civil war was about Slavery is like saying the Iraq War was about WMDs. Its what they say, but if its not the grand reason.

Well, kinda.

Bush knew Saddam didn't have WMD, or ought to have known that the intelligence was shaky at best. But he went in anyway. Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina seceded from the union because they were afraid that Washington was going to take away their right to own other human beings.

So I guess no, not really at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saying the Civil war was about Slavery is like saying the Iraq War was about WMDs. Its what they say, but if its not the grand reason.

Well, kinda.

Bush knew Saddam didn't have WMD, or ought to have known that the intelligence was shaky at best. But he went in anyway. Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina seceded from the union because they were afraid that Washington was going to take away their right to own other human beings.

So I guess no, not really at all.

Secession was about much more than slavery. Saying that all the Confederacy was about is slavery is just as wrong as tajmccall's analogy. Remember, most of the southerners did not own any slaves and shared living conditions that were just as poor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I find humorous about these postings, is that people just believe what people tell them. I love the fact that the Civil War is always termed as to be about slavery, which it was a part of the reason, but most of it was political power and the economy of the south as far as taxes, etc. It's also humorous to hear people talk about the North as far as abolishing slavery, yeah okay. And do a little research and you might come up with these little gem:

"President Lincoln insisted that the war was not about slavery or black rights; it was a war to preserve the Union. His words were not simply aimed at the loyal southern states, however -- most white northerners were not interested in fighting to free slaves or in giving rights to black people. For this reason, the government turned away African American voluteers who rushed to enlist. Lincoln upheld the laws barring blacks from the army, proving to northern whites that their race privilege would not be threatened."

"Some people were critical of the proclamation for only freeing some of the slaves. Others, including Frederick Douglass, were jubilant. Douglass felt that it was the beginning of the end of slavery, and that it would act as a "moral bombshell" to the Confederacy. Yet he and others feared that Lincoln would give in to pressure from northern conservatives, and would fail to keep his promise. Despite the opposition, however, the president remained firm. On January 1, 1863, he issued the final Emancipation Proclamation. With it he officially freed all slaves within the states or parts of states that were in rebellion and not in Union hands. This left one million slaves in Union territory still in bondage."

I got it from here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2967.html. I love how the Union didn't free slaves and the South had to. You're history books (which were more than likely written in places like New York City) and your teachers won't tell you the truth of how racist the North really was. There's this overwhelming blanket thrown over the South and Confederacy and labeled bad and slavery, and yet no one looks at the racist Union and the slave holders in the North and talks about how bad they were. It's only the South. If Lincoln was such a man who fought for the freedom of man and not the keeping of the Union together and keeping his power as President, then why did he bar blacks from the army? Why did he only free slaves in Southern states? It was a power and an economical move, if the north loses the south, then they lose revenue and they lose their standing in the world and become a weaker nation. The Slaverly issue was a pawn in the power game and don't ever think that it was more than a pawn. Only a certain sector of the North wanted to free the slaves, and that sector gets so much publicity, when in reality they were only a part of the North and the North as a whole had slaves or didn't care about it. I'll be the first one to say that slavery is wrong, and yet it amuses me to see current politician use the phrase "All men created equal" out of the constitution, when that only meant that white land owners were free men. Slaves were I think considered 3/8ths as far as the census is concerned. Women weren't counted, and I don't think they were considered free. I hate this blanket statement about the Confederacy and the South means slavery and yet the Union and the North were just as bad. It's like a drunk walking down skid row and yelling at a homeless person for being a drunk wine-o. Look in the mirror before you point fingers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.