Mary Katharine Ham

     I grew up in a liberal, college town. The town was so liberal that it created mini-activists who went around inventing things to be offended by. One of those junior grievance-mongers chose the bulldog mascot as the object of his offense. The bulldog was a white cartoon canine with a red, spiked collar. His fierce, growling grin adorned the gym’s rafters, the football field, and the marquee out front.

     Can’t find anything to be offended by? Don’t worry, there are lefties all over who can help you. In this case, it was a creative ninth-grader. At the tender age of 14, he had perfected the art of fabricated outrage (maybe one of his parents taught the course at the University of North Carolina). He decided that the bulldog was offensive because his depiction was too aggressive. His spiked collar and beared teeth had violent connotations. This young man convinced the school administration it should file the cartoon’s fearsome fangs and take the spikes off his collar. Back in high school, we were thankful this young man didn’t play any sports. We were sure his athletic career would have ended inside a locker.

     Turns out, he was just warming up for a gig at the nation’s top sports association—the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is becoming the authority on manufactured outrage. On August 5, the NCAA announced that it would ban all schools with “hostile or abusive” Native American logos, mascots, and nicknames from hosting NCAA championship competition.

It may affect as many as 19 NCAA institutions whose recent self-studies on the Native American mascot issue did not satisfy concerns that some people could consider the use of the mascot or imagery hostile or abusive.

     Apparently “some people” means the NCAA itself. Or, maybe “some people” refers to a handful of self-appointed Native American activists and a whole lot of guilty, white liberals. 

Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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