The Community College of Philadelphia is dropping Colonials (and the mascot Colonial Phil) after a student led petition in 2016 that asked for a change garnered more than 600 signatures. A new mascot is expected to be announced in the fall of 2018.
Today there was an opinion piece on Philly.com by Brian Goedde, who teaches at the college, that offered an argument on why the change is appropriate and that the Colonial mascot is offensive. From Goedde’s column:
The student-led petition in 2016, signed by more than 600 students and presented to the dean of students by the Student Government Association, said that Colonial Phil referenced our country’s history of prejudice and oppression — not as a victim, but as a perpetrator. “The term ‘Colonial’ glorified the colonization of the Americas,” wrote the assistant dean of students in a memo justifying the change, “and Colonial America and the Colonials of Philadelphia were almost exclusively Anglo or northern European.”
He further offers:
The history that Colonial Phil represents does not best represent CCP, an open-access institution that largely serves Philadelphians who have been historically disadvantaged: 75 percent are students of color; 73 percent receive financial aid. Our students, historically speaking, are in higher education not because of any connection to our white, wealthy “founding fathers,” but in spite of them.
Ours has been another type of “offensive mascot” that needs changing: white mascots that represent disgraceful white American history.
So if you are reading this, you likely live within the borders of the Colonial School District, which uses a Colonial character as a mascot (don’t think we don’t know you are the Vikings over in Upper Merion).
So these type of things usually start with one place and then it spreads.
What would you think if this issue came to the Colonial School District?
Let us know in the comments.