In a vote that bucks the liberal trend of eliminating school team names that reference American Indians, student leaders at San Diego State University voted to remain the San Diego Aztecs.
Instead of dumping the name, in a close 14 to 12 vote the group rejected a resolution to phase out the Aztec name and school mascot as proposed by the school’s Native American Student Alliance, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Liberal supporters of the measure to eliminate the name and mascot insisted that the bare-chested, spear-toting mascot, in particular, was “racist.”
But, supporters of the team name and mascot said that the school is keeping the glorious culture of the Aztecs alive with the name.
“The resolution was based on a thesis by American Indian Studies Professor Ozzie Monge, who wrote that the Aztec name was inappropriate because, among other reasons, it was chosen on the inaccurate historical assumption that the Aztecs once were in the Southwest United States,” The Union-Tribune reported.
This is Monge’s second attempt to eliminate the Aztec name from the school. His first, in 2014, lost in a lopsided 24 to 1 vote. Despite the loss, the professor promised to continue the fight to whitewash the school’s tip of the hat to Aztec history and will introduce a resolution next year.
Arguing in favor of keeping the name, Fred Pierce, an alumnus and chair of Fowler College of Business at SDSU, said, “Today, too often politically correctness goes overboard.”
SDSU Executive Associate Athletics Director Steve Schnall added that the Aztecs were “a proud people.”
“In our strength and conditioning room, the Aztec logo is considered sacred,” Schnall said of the team logo on the floor of the facility. “Students walk around it.”
Those who oppose the name and mascot maintained that using the Aztec culture was “inappropriate” and “indefensible.”
Whatever the final outcome of the vote, though, the final decision would be up to school officials, not the student groups. The ultimate decision belongs to SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.
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