As Confederate monuments have become the latest “evidence” of racism in America’s society, it should be no surprise that some university students at Louisiana State University have found a way to tie their school’s mascot to the confederacy. A small group of students have created a petition to have the school’s iconic tiger mascot changed because it existed during the Jim Crow era.
The petition, which was started on Change.org, demands that the university remove the tiger mascot in order to not offend students of color.
“Louisiana State University named their mascot the Tigers, and they named it during the height of Jim Crow South. This was a time when black men feared for their lives, and were treated as sub-human,” the petition’s unnamed student author wrote. “This symbol is the most prevalent Confederate symbol in the United States.”
The petition’s author then tries to tie racist Confederate soldiers’ actions during battle to the LSU mascot that has symbolized the university since its inception in 1860.
“These powerful white males choose the Tiger [sic] as a symbol to honor a Confederate regiment called Louisiana’s Tigers,” it says. “It is incredibly insulting for any African American to have to attend a school that honors Confederate militantism. It is already hard enough to be black at LSU, and these symbols must be changed.”
As of Thursday, the petition has 486 signatures. Many commenters wrote, albeit poorly worded, words of encouragement for fellow black students to rise against their “white oppressors.”
“Get rid of anything to do with white male power. They’re [sic] day is up. Time for us ppl [sic] of color to rule them!”
Another commenter wrote, “For years we suffered subtle slights, but soon we will be the majority. It will be up to us to shape our state in our image, not in the image of our former captors,” said one supporter. “Wake up black people. Our time has come.”
As expected, not everyone shared these students’ enthusiasm for the topic as one commentator put the petition’s author in their place, stating little to no research was done on the history of the school. This commenter wrote that just because the school is located in the south, it doesn’t mean that the ancestors who established it had slaves. It was actually quite the opposite.
He wrote: “The Louisiana Tigers were not slave owners. They were the poorest Irish immigrants who performed such backbreaking and dangerous manual labor that the slave owners of the time didn’t even want their slaves to do it because their lives were considered more valuable.”
As that commenter suggests, perhaps the writer should do some research to substantiate their argument before embarrassing themselves online.