Clarion Editorial Rips Boone Mascot

(above) As Boone becomes more popular on campus, the PC Police jump into action
by Makayla Cisneros

When it comes to school spirit, the trickiest part is trying to unify the entire student body behind a symbol, such as a mascot. At DU, Denver Boone, sketched by Walt Disney specifically for the use of the university, was the mascot for most of the 20th century.

Daniel Boone, who was the inspiration for Denver Boone, was a pioneer who fought in the revolutionary war in Kentucky, which primarily involved British settlers against Native American tribes.

It is these battles that he is most known for. It is because of Daniel Boone's bloody history and involvement in battles which engaged in the slaughter of Native Americans that he was removed as the DU mascot in the first place; also in part because of his sexist implications as a male representing a multi-gendered athletic community [read entire article].


dggoddard said...

Its hard to keep track of all the inaccurate statements in her article.

* "small majority" should be small minority.

* DU doesn't own the copyright on Boone. Neither does Disney. They looked, no one could find it.

* Comparing Daniel Boone to the Boone mascot is like comparing OJ Simpson to Jessica Simpson.

* Boone was not the school mascot "for the majority of the 20th century."

* Makayla needs to brush up on her US History and study the US Constitution, because she's got some warped opinions.

miller said...

Ok, everyone who is offended by Boone raise their hand. Just as I suspected, except for a few PC zealots no one raised their hands. Come on Makayla, where do you come up with these lame arguments? Your logic really falls way short.

If Boone really bothers you, then I would suggest you keep a picture of the chicken hawk next to your desk at The Clarion.

anonevermore said...

She lost me at "sexist implications as a male representing a multi-gendered athletic community." Does anyone still really talk like this?

old pio said...

I've heard this "logic" over and over again: "If even one (fill in the blank) is offended, then whatever it is that offends them should be eliminated." Avoiding offense is the core value of PC. And in the abstract, who can argue aainst it? Why even that idiot former senator from Illinois adduced what she called "a right not to be offended" on the Senate floor. Evidently she didn't grasp the concept that you can have "a right not to be offended" or a First Amendment, but not both.

By applying the "If even one" standard, you are guaranteeing that the most easily offended people will, in fact, be offended. They are, by and large, iconoclasts, wanting to right the wrongs of the 19th century.

I submit anyone watching Boone at a hockey or basketball game (in the unlikely event one of these people would ever do such a thing) and thinks of the depredations of the white man against Indians in Kentucky 150 years ago needs immediate psychological intervention. Guaranteed none of those folks have ever done anything to improve the lives of Indians, many of whom live lives of the most abject poverty and deprivation. Alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome, TB, drug abuse, domestic violence and all the other horrors are vistited on these people. And their lives were not improved when Chief Illiniwek went away. And won't be improved if Boone is deep sixed.

DG has been a pillar of leadership in reawakening school spirit at DU. And we should fight like hell to avoid even one step back.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a lot of people mistake Denver Boone's "human ancestor" ... since he's wearing a coonskin cap, looks like he's actually built on Davy Crockett ... according to wikipedia, Daniel Boone didn't like coonskin caps, and they became a fad in the 50s because Fess Parker wore one as he played Crockett

Chelsea H said...

It wouldn't let me post on the site but here is my two cents.
As someone who is Choctaw Indian ( my dad is Indian, my mother is white) I do not find him insensitive at all. If you want to make everything politically correct, you might as well get rid of the Pioneer as a mascot as all, since most Pioneers had issues with Indians in the first place. My father and I do not see any issues with Boone so speaking on behalf of all American Indians that are on campus as you did in your article is not correct, you do not speak for me or any other of my friends who are minorities that do like Boone. Also, there is a female version of Boone as well that knocks the gender card out as well. (Think Albert and Alberta for UF).

Anonymous said...

FYI you're probably better off posting comments you'd like the column's author to see on the Clarion's website. This was just a heads up from LetsGoDU and I'm sure Makayla is not monitoring the comments posted here. Most people on this site are of a like mind on this issue.

UDenver20 said...


1 - Boone was originally named "Pioneer". It wasn't until 1968 that he became known as "Boone".

2 - Just because Boone wears a coonskin cap, doesn't mean he was meant to be a reference to Daniel Boone. Daniel Boone did not wear a coonskin cap. That was Davy Crocket. It was Boone's predecessor, Pioneer Pete, who started out with the coonskin cap.

3 - Moreover, if Boone WERE meant to evoke Daniel Boone, then that would not be a bad thing. Perhaps she could read Robert Morgan's book, "Boone". Daniel Boone was (for the most part) a noncombatant Quaker (except for when he was fighting alongside George Washington in the revolutionary war). He served in the Virginia legislature. He hunted alongside free blacks. He was an honorary member of two Native American tribes. He also loved his mother dearly and forgave his wife when he came back from a two year trip only to discover that he had a newborn - likely the son of his brother! He had his flaws, but he actually wasn't the terrible guy she suggests that he was.

4 - What is her source for claiming that a small majority of students find him racially offensive? The last time DU took a poll about Boone, 87% favored his return.

5 - With respect to her "copyright" claim, the University granted the right for students and alumni to use his image in an October 20, 2008 letter from Chancellor Coome by saying "it seems reasonable that students and alumni be allowed to use the image as a celebration of that past, to the extent that they may choose."

It is shortsighted, unresearched journalism such as hers that perpetuate misconceptions about Boone, his history, and his role at our institution (not to mention Daniel Boone). Such incomplete work has no place in either media (or in higher education, for that matter).

Perhaps she should do a little more research before her next article.

Anonymous said...

If a young man wants to parade around in a giant styrofoam head - who are we to judge him?

Anonymous said...

Really a poorly written article. If you are going to call yourself a journalist, you need to first get your facts straight.

Second, the whole argument of "If the Boone is racially insensitive to ANYONE, he should not be allowed to be the icon that he is". This argument is counter intuitive to the diversity movement. If we disallowed anything that "anyone" found offensive, we would end up banning everything and end up with no diversity what so ever.

The argument here is about where you draw the line between what is reasonably acceptable and beneficial and what is not. For example, celebrating Nazis is not something I (and everyone else) would ever accept on campus. That's easy.

However, what if one person were offended by a Japanese heritage event because their great grandfather was killed and tortured in WWII? Should the Japanese heritage event be cancelled? According to Makayla's argument, the event should be cancelled based on principle of not offending anyone. However, MANY people would disagree with her "principled" argument. Many people who support diversity would be happy to support an event where students of Japanese decent were allowed to celebrate their heritage.

Again, where do you draw the line? Obviously, it lies somewhere in between allowing Nazi celebrations and banning Japanese heritage events. Makayla's article does nothing to move the "line in the sand".

dusince59 said...

Makayla has some serious need of mental help. It must suck to be her.

Anonymous said...

Makayla is in college, and as she ages into adulthood, she is far more likely to acquire the needed wisdom to see abd understand the gaping holes in her current logic.

I am sure the next phase of this will be the trotting out of the "micro-agressions."

May God have mercy on our souls.

dggoddard said...

Makayla's editorial is the first orchestrated step in the "Battle of Boone II".

This attack on Boone is just the first public move by the opposition.

Should be a fun Spring.

Anonymous said...

It is in the opinion section for a reason. Because it is the opinion of one student and she is free to express it although if other students made a point to submit better letters to the paper we wouldn't have to read poorly researched slander pieces against a mascot.

du78 said...

I like the picture DG!

{sigh} This is so yesterday's news. The students and alums have control of Boone and can use him as they like. I assume this author doesn't go to any of the sporting events and sees how all of the local kids and the overwhelming majority of students, alums and faculty/staff all like Boone. Even though officially Boone is "unofficial" who cares. He is back and represents more than a large majority of students,alums and faculty/staff.

dggoddard said...

Personal attacks on Makayla, talk of Nazis or anonymous comments in poor taste will be deleted.


CIS said...

Here is what I posted on the Clarion page:


First, what is a "small majority"? I'm having trouble following your logic. I appreciate your ambition but your opinion loses credibility with non sequitur or confusing points.

The University of North Dakota recently retired their timeless moniker "the Fighting Sioux" after a long and very heated debate. The Fighting Sioux is as storied a tradition in North Dakota as anything there, where college hockey is the main sporting attraction. Even that I can't fully understand, considering social groups are often used as mascots (Spartans, Canucks, Minutemen, etc) for sports teams and schools. However, I at least see the point, considering it could be argued the name paints the Sioux tribe as hostile.

Going after Boone (once again) makes even less sense to me. Boone is not anything considered to be "hostile and abusive" by the NCAA, and he is only a caricature of someone who embodies a pioneer spirit. If your argument is legitimate, you should be pushing to retire the word "Pioneer", not the mascot it represents. It seems it is not Boone you are offended by, but what white male settlers did as they moved west in the 1800s. I agree atrocities were committed, but not by Boone. He is only a mascot. A cheerful little guy that gets us excited to be a Denver Pioneer.

I'd like to see a poll of DU students and alumni (a sizable poll, several hundred respondents) regarding their opinion of Boone. If you ask loaded questions like "does Boone or the history he represents offend you?" then you also need to ask "have you noticed a surge in school spirit since Boone was reinstated"? The answer to the latter is undeniably "YES".

Objective Observer said...

The Clarion is in shambles. Look at everything:

a) They're covering national news instead of local stories.

b) they don't understand scale. (The Library isn't that much over's within the tolerances that are to be expected)

c) the writing quality is nil

d) their photos suck

e) they're rogue

f) they don't realize they have all these issues and instead try to expand and say it's the best thing ever

g) they're always a day, week or month late on important local stories

h) in this day and age with rottentomatoes how important is having an entertainment section to review movies

i) This is just one of many examples of the Clarion's diminishing role on campus...there once was power in a Clarion article, no longer is this true.

Anonymous said...

The Clarion has barely been surviving for years, their financial management has been worse than even the content. There's been times in the past few years that the Clarion was within a few days or even hours of shutting down.

Anonymous said...

I’m not judging the young man parading around in the giant styrofoam head but I find the older men that pay him to do that a bit disturbing.

Josey Wales said...

I think it's safe to say Makayla's writing career has as much upward momentum as a lead balloon. That article is nothing short of horse****.

dggoddard said...

Several students perform as Boone each year and they aren't paid, it's an honor. But then you already knew that.

The first Boone student was hired by Nike after graduating from DU with an MBA. Would he have gotten that job without the Mascot Boot Camp and Boone on his resume? I guess we'll never know.

The current student running the Boone program has been contacted by Warrior to possibly work for them after school.

Drumming up school spirit looks great on the resume. It remains to be seen how crappy editorials in the Clarion will look when companies do internet background checks.

miller said...

I hire people all the time and I guarantee you I would hire someone with Boone on their resume versus someone who had written for The Clarion; however, I suppose I am just a little bit prejudice!!

Don't forget, I gave Old Pio his first job as a bouncer at the SI.

Anonymous said...

Funny. I thought old pio's first job was as a subject in an electroshock study...?

Nincompoop said...

Mascotting is a serious business. People who are serious about getting into tend to do anything to get "resume time". Sure everyone wants to be Bernie, at Center ice in the Pepsi Center shooting T-shirts during a sold out Red Wings game. But way before that, you'll find people dressing "in the fur" as the Easter Bunny, at Children's Birthday parties, high schools, corporate functions and retail stores. Chick-Fil-A is a good entry point too.... everyone wants to be a cow.
I would challenge DG to not just get "someone" to wear the suit - but find someone who wants to get into game ops or mascotting as a career.

old pio said...

The Clarion has never been mistaken for one of America's best student newspapers. One of my lasting memories of the paper came during an AUSA budget hearing when the then-editor said the paper's editorial position on student government would be "adjusted" based on the amount of the grant. A moment to make John Peter Zenger proud.

Anonymous said...

No jokes about Nazis. So now is a bad time to bring up Engelstad's painting of himself dressed in a Nazi uniform captioned "To Adolf from Ralphie"? Should we wait until the North Dakota series?

I thought the deleted post was a nice counterpoint to du78's most of us don't find Boone racially offensive so screw the rest of you argument. And it humorously incorporated Anon 7:15:00’s Nazi party example (by the way someone should have told Prince William that wearing a SS uniform is a really bad idea) Perhaps you didn't want to offend the Sioux fans who read the blog since it poked fun at them. But since a majority of the DU fans don’t like North Dakota fans and since a majority of Sioux fans can’t read – screw ‘em.

Anonymous said...

You're not allowed to make fun of the guy who shoves squids down his pants.

Anonymous said...

I hear widget sales is a booming field for former mascots.

MyUnderpantsSmellFishy said...

Miller was the the one who confessed to smuggling squid in his trousers not du78.

anon-i-mouse said...

MAJOR PROPS to whoever brings squid(s) in on Friday!

A DU Student initiative of the most imperative nature!

Anonymous said...

it made a nice run, but this thread is officially going down the tubes.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of school spirit and whatnot, I propose we start drumming up some spirit for this weekend against the Goofers. Friday is on national TV, so hopefully the students come out in force.

Anonymous said...

I am not expecting as big a student turnout this weeked as it is Winter Carnival, where much of the undergrad student body relocates to one of the ski resorts for the weekend of mountain activities and parties.

Usually, this event is planned for when DU hockey is on an awayweekend, but this year for some reason, it is planned for Minnnesota vs DU weekend.

Dumb planning if you ask me, but perhaps there may have been scheduling issues with resort - maybe some student can enlighten the rest of us.

ScottA said...

The Tyranny of the Majority morphs into the Tyranny of the Minority morphs into the poorly argued, poorly written opinion of one outcast. Pitiful...