Judging from TV commercials during the Olympics, a large fraction of American athletes are one-legged. But at the cutting edge of wokeness, such as \$60k Upper West Side private schools, one-leggedness is now seen as racist:
Collegiate School in Manhattan claims to have been founded by the New Amsterdam Dutch in 1628. The school’s teams are The Dutchmen and their mascot is The Dutchman, aka Pegleg Pete (Governor Peter Stuyvesant).
But the Dutch are white so … From the New York Times news section:
Collegiate’s Dutchman character got a makeover after students demanded the exclusive Manhattan school “address its own problems with racism and intolerance.”
By Corey Kilgannon
Feb. 19, 2022
… At Collegiate, it was the school mascot — a winking, peg-legged caricature of a Dutch settler — that emerged as a flash point. The decision to change it was met, predictably, with some outcry — but on both sides.
Some people lamented that what they saw as an important part of Collegiate’s heritage was being erased. They considered the Dutchman mascot as an inoffensive embodiment of school pride and a fond link to tradition at the boys-only institution on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
There were others who supported the initial call for changing the mascot, which was viewed by some as offensive, from its Eurocentric and racist overtones to its crude depiction of a disability, a peg leg. But they saw the result of the extensive research project as a mere makeover that did not confront the broader issues of race and inclusion at Collegiate.
“It does close to nothing to address systemic racism and sociocultural inequality at Collegiate,” said Luca Rojas, 32, who graduated from the school in 2008.
While rethinking the mascot was laudable, Mr. Rojas said, changing it was “just skimming the surface of what actually needs to be done to address systemic racism and sociocultural inequality at Collegiate, which only makes it feel that much more hollow and performative.”
… A main objection to the mascot was that it was known to many as “Peg Leg Pete” and widely believed to represent Peter Stuyvesant, the wooden-legged 17th-century Dutch leader of New Amsterdam whose legacy has come under growing criticism because of his ownership of slaves, support for slavery and antisemitic policies.
Stuyvesant’s name is still used by the prestigious public Stuyvesant High School, where sports teams are known as the Peglegs,
Okay, here’s the pitch, it’s very high concept … the movie is a sports comedy about the worst high school football team in the world: the Stuyvesant Peglegs! The screenplay writes itself.
and by the sprawling Stuyvesant Town residential complex on Manhattan’s East Side.
The Collegiate controversy began in February 2019, when the organization for students of color, Jamaa, said in a letter published in the school paper that “Collegiate must address its own problems with racism and intolerance.”
The Jamaa letter, which was signed by 28 students, called for a more inclusive, less Eurocentric curriculum, and greater diversity among teachers and administrators beyond “cisgender heterosexual White men.”
In 1969, the letter noted, there had been two Black students in the graduating class. In 2019, there were also two Black students in the graduating class.
Niche.com says Collegiate is only 55% white.
“Collegiate is a place where Black kids get their hair gawked at and constantly touched without their permission as if they were animals in a petting zoo,” the letter said.
And it’s an all boys school, so you know today’s hair-touching crisis is bad.
Among the nine steps the students asked the school to take was No. 5: “a serious re-evaluation of our school mascot.” The letter called Stuyvesant “a vehement antisemite” who “ruled by hate and racism.” ,,,
Finally, after three years of study and redesign work, a modernized image of the Dutchman was sent out to thousands of parents and alumni last month.
Gone were aspects that some people had called offensive, including the original character’s peg leg and even his identity: The new figure is shown in silhouette, with his face obscured.
As part of the same review process, Collegiate abandoned other traditions, including references to God in the secular school’s motto and on its official seal.
To be precise, they changed the seal from “Founded A.D. 1628” to “Founded 1628.” Of course, they’re still counting from the (approximate) birth of Christ, so there will be much left to eradicate for future students looking to have something to write about in their college admissions essays, such as having the school seal reformulated to start with 1619 as the Year 1, so Collegiate’s seal will someday read “Founded A.B. [After Blacks] 9.”
… Another graduate, in an apparent dig at Jamaa’s 2019 complaints, said, “Don’t let some kid trying to add a paragraph to his college essay destroy 200 plus years of tradition.”
By the way, how come there are no one-armed athletes in television commercials, just dozens of one-legged jocks?