Recently the City of Osceola, Missouri passed a resolution condemning KU’s “Jayhawk” mascot. The resolution reads as follows:
On this date, the City of Osceola, after hearing all of the evidence, and for good cause shown, finds the following:
That on September 21 – 23, 1861, a group of domestic terrorist, referred to as “the jayhawkers,” sacked the city of Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri and burned all but four or five of the city’s buildings to the ground.
That on or around that date, twelve citizens of Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri, were executed by said terrorist group.
That the above-mentioned occurrence eventually led to William Clark Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, kansas, as Missourians had no choice but to defend themselves from the murderous attacks perpetrated by the jayhawkers, led by Jim Lane and James Montgomery.
That when the University of kansas fielded its football team in 1890, it referred to the team as “the jayhawkers,” an obvious celebration of the above-named terrorist group. This term was eventually shortened to “jayhawks,” a name which has since been officially adopted by the University of kansas as the mascot for all its sports teams.
That the present-day “jayhawks,” kU alumni, citizens of the state of kansas, et al,, have willfully, wantonly and recklessly disregarded the above-mentioned occurrence when discussing the roots of the “Border War” which currently existed between the University of Missouri Tigers and the University of kansas jayhawks.
Whereas, the Civil War Trust, Summer 2011 issue of “Hallowed Ground” published by the National Park Services does hereby acknowledge that partisan forces led by Jim Lane raided and sacked the town of Osceola, Missouri, executing nine men after a hastily arranged court martial.
IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED that the City of Osceola, Missouri, by and through its citizens, officially CONDEMNS the celebration of this murderous gang of terrorists by an institution of “higher education,” in such a brazen and malicious manner.
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that citizens of the City of Osceola, Missouri requests the University of Missouri to educate the above-named Defendants on the FULL historical origins of the “Border War.”
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that no citizen of the City of Osceola or the alumni of the University of Missouri shall ever capitalize the “k” in “kansas” or “kU,” as neither is a proper name or a proper place.
Larry Hutsler, Mayor
ESPN network’s Eamonn Brennan covered the story in his September 16th article entitled “The Dark side of the Jayhawk’s nickname“. Unfortunately the title is about the only thing accurate in this story. For instance, according to Brennan the good folks of kansas (yes I say good sarcastically) state that “Jayhawk” really isn’t really bad after all…
“Kansas doesn’t necessarily dispute this portion of the mascot’s history, but it asserts the term originated in a variety of ways, not all of them negative. On its “History of the Jayhawk” page, the KU athletics program says the term was originally coined in the late 1840s to describe a “band of pioneers” crossing over from Nebraska. Kansas athletics admits the term was used in the abolitionist conflicts Osceola describes, but notes that it became a patriotic symbol when then-Kansas Governor Charles Robinson raised a regiment called the “Independent Mounted Kansas Jayhawks.” “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” appeared soon thereafter, and in 1890 the name was passed along to Kansas’s first football team”
See , there you go, they were nothing more than a patriotic band of friendly volunteers (according to KU and Brennan). Brennan goes on to state:
“Yes, I just spent an entire paragraph summing up the disputed history of the term “Jayhawk.” Why? Because I’m a former history minor who loves these kinds of things. I sure didn’t spend that time typing because we needed a serious summation of both sides’ arguments. I mean, come on. With all due respect to the town of Osceola and what that town’s ancestors went through during the most violent and tumultuous time in America’s history, this happens to be 2011. There’s absolutely nothing offensive about the name “Jayhawk” in 2011. In fact, given the final words of the resolution — which you can view here — I’m not sure Osceola is even taking this all that seriously”
Oh come on Mr. Brennan! Yeah it’s 2011 and the town will never be what it could have been, because of KANSAS JAYHAWKERS! It does matter, the people of Osceola, have a reason to be offended. In 1861 Jim Lane , looted Osceola , not for slavery, not for the Union but for opportunity and financial gain. The University of Kansas has , as its symbol a “Jayhawk”, which does not symbolize a band of friendly pioneers, which isn’t a friendly little blue bird. It’s a symbol of murder and destruction in 2011. Why? For the same reason that the name Jayhawk represented in 1861..financial gain and profit.
I can’t help but wonder if the Jayhawk mascot represented violence against a minority group, oh I don’t know, like maybe African-Americans it would have been plucked long ago. Oh wait, Lane did terrorize African Americans too, a minor of history should know that Mr. Brennan.