All across the country right now college campuses are discussing serious issues involving the United States’ history of racism. Troubling threats of violence have even led to arrests in Missouri, where it was confirmed this week that someone literally drew a swastika in a dorm bathroom using feces in October. It was thus a needed moment of comic relief to encounter this item on the list of demands that Amherst College protesters have made to the school’s administration:
7. President Martin must release a statement by Friday, November 13th, 2015 by 5:00pm that condemns the inherent racist nature of the unofficial mascot, the Lord Jeff, and circulate it to the student body, faculty, alumni, and Board of Trustees. This will be followed up by the encouraged removal of all imagery including but not limited to apparel, memorabilia, facilities, etc. for Amherst College and all of its affiliates via a phasing out process within the next year.
Wow, Amherst’s mascot is called “Lord Jeff.” And to be clear, Lord Jeff is not a good mascot. In addition to looking like a colonial twerp (see above), Lord Jeff commemorates a man (Lord Jeffrey Amherst) who, according to the school’s own website, “advocated biological warfare against Indians” via smallpox blankets. The school’s female athletes are apparently called the “Lady Jeffs,” which is both bizarre and retrograde. Lord Jeff—a bad mascot.
But it’s also a little funny that someone is making a demand about the googly-eyed cartoon thing above that involves a 24-style ticking-clock scenario. “We will give you exactly four hours to wire 25 million Swiss francs into our Cayman Islands account and to criticize the mascot. This will be our last transmission. Do not contact the police.”