To the Editor:
On Aug. 28, the University of Illinois banned the war chant song played at athletic events at the school due to its association with already-banned mascot Chief Illiniwek and his supposedly offensive nature to Native Americans.
This again provided plenty of fodder for the anti-Chief Illiniwek crowd to remind us of how despicable it has been for us to honor him at past athletic events, along with the spirit, enthusiasm and history he invoked. Being a U of I alum, little did I know that the goosebumps I felt watching Chief Illiniwek and the marching Illini perform at half-time during football games were simply racially offensive pimples ready to pop in the 21st century. This is hard to believe, and I really don’t think I do.
On a more serious note, there was another news story last week that was reported on, but not written about in columns or editorials by journalists, at least none that I am aware of. That was the opening of the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Waiting Room at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Anthony Rizzo, of the Chicago Cubs, has been truly grateful to and generous in supporting pediatric cancer at Lurie’s with a $3.5 million donation from his foundation. As one young cancer patient states, “He is a very nice man and a good ball player, too.”
Thus, what I am saying to journalists and reporters is that the stories about who or what offended whom are beginning to get old. It’s time to write about much more important things in life and this last week it was the pediatric cancer patients, doctors and nurses at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and what Anthony Rizzo is doing to help them.
I would like to add that September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. If you know a child and their family dealing with the hardships encountered through this disease, give them love, hope and support in any manner you can. They will be very appreciative and I guarantee you will not feel offended.