You Make the Call
Bring back UH
mascot, say dozens
of readersOverwhelmingly, readers responding to our question "Would you like to see the UH Rainbow Warrior mascot return?" said yes, he should come back. Dozens of readers responded, either by phone or e-mail.
Here are selected comments:
Jean Fukumoto, Kaneohe: "Yes, I want to see the mascot come back because we need a mascot to urge us to continue to win or to just do better."
John Mohr, Makiki: "I believe we need a mascot, but I don't believe he should be in artificial muscles. Why not just a regal person, like the Trojans in California? And I feel it's a shame that we're intimidated like this. This is a beautiful place. Let's show it."
Charles K. Ka'upu, Wailuku: "As a native Hawaiian, I don't see the use of a Hawaiian character as being either offensive or demeaning. If anything, I laud the fact that they use a fictitious Hawaiian-like depiction of the word 'warrior.' I am sure that we can all understand that a mascot need not be necessarily fact but may encompass the fantasy as well. In this case the UH mascot is exactly that, fantasy. In fantasy all is possible, and to construe this as being demeaning or offensive is silly."
Karl Kawachi, Mililani: "I would like to see the mascot return -- however, if possible, not to use that suit that they have the guy in. I don't think it's necessary to have that foam-filled costume. In the past we used to have a warrior mascot who put on a giant menehune head, but he did not put on a body suit. I think if you got a young guy who's in good shape that should be sufficient. I certainly disagree with those who want to make threats to the warrior or the person who depicts the warrior. I think in any kind of situation you might have animal rights activists object to using eagles or broncos or any type of animal as a mascot. I think that sanity should prevail in this issue."
Jim Witten, Waialae-Iki: "Yes, I would like to see the mascot return. I find it's not offensive at all. Football is a very entertaining activity, and I see no reason to interpret mascots and people that add to the fun of the game being considered offensive."
Lei Kaleiwhela, Makiki: "Yes, I would like to see the UH warrior mascot return. I think he is fine as he is. Nobody is trying to offend or lower the lifestyle of Hawaiians. They can only do that themselves, and tell Miss (Lilikala) Kameeleihiwa that more important is that she understand that the warrior mascot is just that, a warrior chief or mascot. He is not God. Tell her to not be so sensitive and to enjoy the lighter side of life."
Melvin Fujiyoshi, Waikiki: "I would like to see the Rainbow Warrior mascot return as I do not see anything offensive about its appearance. The mascot depicts a warrior with strength, something the football players could relate to in their quest to compete in collegiate football."
Keith Haugen, Waialae Nui: "Think how we Norse feel about Minnesota calling its professional football team the Vikings!"
Kalani Simpson, Ala Moana: "I think that the mascot should always be of the animal species rather than a human figure -- like the Indians and the Hawaiians, that would be demeaning. I think it should be an animal. I think they do need to change what the mascot represents."
Asa Wakabayashi, Pearl City: "Yeah, I want to see the Rainbow Warrior return. He's the best thing that I remember happening to UH. And I don't know, I just think that some people are getting just a little bit too paranoid about this. And there are other places that have human mascots, and I really don't see anything bad. I hope he comes back here the next couple of games."
Bradley Cook, Aiea: "I think that the mascot should be brought back again. It shows that Hawaii has some kind of power against the other teams. Every team has a mascot mostly, but we have a very ethnic group here that feels that they are (offended). I don't think that there's anything wrong with it at all. Look at the USC Trojans, you know, look at the Washington Redskins."
Noreen Dierkes, Nuuanu: "I don't think (the) Hawaiian warrior is offensive, and neither would I be offended if they made one of someone Japanese with slanted eyes. I'm Japanese."
Alan Rego, Pearl City: "Yes, I think the mascot should be brought back. Some people in Hawaii are getting very, very touchy about situations. This has nothing to do about depicting a Hawaiian warrior. Give me a break, Hawaiian activists."
Jim Ferris, Salt Lake: "By all means I think the UH Rainbow Warrior mascot should return. We can't quit doing everything that's fun for a very small minority group."
Rod Gammon, Makiki: "I would like to see the warrior back ... but even more, I would like to see some press reporting. Investigate into whether or not the threatening, the so-called threatening letter, is even real, because the GSO -- graduate student organization -- when they looked into it, could find no administrator who would claim responsibility for receiving such a letter. Nor could they produce a copy of the letter, and it is my feeling perhaps that it is a possibility that this could even have been concocted in order to make certain people who care strongly about their culture look to be people whom they are not. And if that is true, I find that to be disgraceful."
Elliot Char, Pearl City: "I would like to see the Rainbow Warrior mascot benched, but not for reasons of cultural sensitivity. I find the mascot, a muscle-bound human figure, rather banal and totally lacking in imagination. I would like to see a cartoon character, something that is fun to watch and is more picaresque as well as emblematic of Hawaiiana -- maybe a cartoon shark aumakua or the like.
Joe Manalo, Mililani: "I would like to see the UH Rainbow Warrior mascot return. A mascot is defined as a person, animal or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure to bring them good luck. I think Lilikala Kameeleihiwa, the Hawaiian studies professor, is making a big deal out of nothing. It's not the mascot category as cartoon character or animal that is demeaning; I think it's the outlook. For good luck -- my God, we need all the luck we can get, not only in sports but in Hawaii as general."
T.J. Ross, Makakilo: "I firmly believe that the UH mascot warrior should be unbenched, brought back to the sidelines. The nation of Hawaii was founded on warriors. They may not have been as macho as the UH warrior is depicted. However, it still goes back to the heritage of Hawaii and the different groups of people that inhabited the different islands, and basically they did nothing but fight in order to win -- win supremacy and win territory. What is the UH trying to do after the past seasons we've had? They're trying to come back and trying to win supremacy and win respect, which means, why not have a mascot that depicts that -- granted it may be a little more buff than some of the local or past local warriors."