War Chant has been retired

United States
Last year I made a thread about the possibility of the banning of musical pieces given the trend to engage in a witch hunt for all things deemed offensive in college athletics. I was dismissed. People said that the music the Marching Illini wouldn't be touched. Now look.
 
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Los Angeles
This one's an interesting one. I was at UofI during the peak of the chief controversy (graduated in 06). It was definitely an interesting time. But, my perspective is simple:

1. There's a difference between honoring a people/culture, valuing it, and furthering it vs. creating your own culture around it with the pretense that you're honoring it. With chief Illiniwek, I felt you couldn't truly honor the Illini tribe given that the Chief was primarily derived from the Peoria tribe (since the Illini didn't exist anymore). Further, even the Peoria didn't support the chief (granted, there's viable question as to if that matters per me previous point). As a minority born in another country, I'm totally OK with people portraying my culture in a respectful way that does so with a reasonable amount of authenticity and is in good faith. If not, I'd rather you not do anything at all.

2. In the case of the chant, I don't think the chant is trying to honor or portray the illini tribe. It's a song with no direct reference to any particular native american culture. Yes it sounds "stereotypical" native american, but every song in the world has roots in other types of music. There's no pretense here, so there's nothing to really question beyond does it serve its intended purpose. It may not do so on third downs, but that's not a reason to retire it.

Now, will banning the song cause me to stop my monthly donation to the school and make it (very slightly) more difficult for future generations to receive the quality education I got from UofI? Particularly since those ahead of me gave that allowed me to do the same is just ridiculous. I agree that the chant is part of a cultural identify of the school (or at least the athletic program), and the school hasn't done a good job of repairing that identity, but that's fixable, folks. And picking up the soccer ball and running home kicking and screaming, while it may be effective to some degree if enough people do it, isn't the best solution.
Hall of fame post
 
And our world just got a little more dull and grey. Because it needed to be more that way.

Thanks political correctness.
 
Austin, TX
And our world just got a little more dull and grey. Because it needed to be more that way.

Thanks political correctness.
So what about Florida State's Seminole chant? Will they be next? I saw an article stating USC's white horse is a racist symbol too.
 
The Chief isn't coming back, ever. Its time for everyone to come to terms with that, as unfortunate as it may be.

The university needs to build a new brand, but has to strip away most of whats left of the old one before it can do so - again, unfortunate

Illinois is in Identity Purgatory, and won't get out until this process is complete - I just don't understand why we had to sit there for 10 years before they did anything (...this is assuming that there is a larger plan in place, and that they just didn't decide out of the blue to get rid of this one song...)

Remember: Whitman loves this school, and this program, as much as anyone - gotta have a little faith that he is going to do everything in his power to do whats best for the future of every facet of Illinois sports
 
In the land of the Nittany Lion
Some things need to be clear. Fighting Illini gained "Fighting" after WWI, but we were Illini amost from the beginning. The student newspaper was the Illini from about 1870, later becoming Daily Illini when it started publishing, well, daily. Students, faculty and staff were known as Illini well back into the 19th century. And make no mistake, the connection to the Illini Nation was intentional from the start. We were Illini when the Indian Wars were still being fought. Take that for what you will.

Yes, the War Chant does have Native overtones, and intentionally so. So does the "2" in the 3-in-1, written for Chief Illiniwek's dance. The word "Oskee-wow-wow" is a made up word that supposed to sound Indian. The "Cha-he, cha-ha" in Illinois Loyalty is supposed to sound Indian as well.

We've had a brand that goes back to our founding, and it has grown incrementally over 150 years. That's a lot to throw away, and throwing money at Nike isn't going to make it happen.

As to why the university didn't do something earlier, it has. There was a competition for a new mascot, and somehow, Chief supporters got a referendum of sorts on Chief Illiniwek along with student government elections. And it turned out that "Chief or Nothing" won by 80/20. That was just current students, the youngest of which were in junior high during the Chief's last dance. But YouTube has allowed them to see what they've missed, and they've kept the spirit alive with the "CHIEF" during the appropriate times during the 3-in-1. The current students haven't forgotten.

The administration has repeatedly tried to ease and or force the Chief and related imagery out. But everything it tries blows back only harder, stiffening resolve of students and alumni--and I might add, the general population of the state...except those who wear purple.

So now they're attacking music. They're starting small, with incidental music, the War Chant. It's not central to the heritage, so the thought was, get rid of it. That's the start. Next is taking the "Cha-he" chant out of Illinois Loyalty. It's another chip. Then next, "Oskee-wow-wow," which would be cast as an offensive made-up Native American word. The fight song has to go. Someone will write something else for the students to sing. They'll hand out lyric sheets and the entrance to the stadium. And finally, the 3-in-1 will be gutted. The dance music will be gone. The decision to dump the War Chant was made at the end of the last football season. They just decided to tell us about it now.

This is inevitable. It will happen, just as much as the Assembly Hall was renamed. Nobody is going to ask your permission. They're just going to do it whether you like it or not, no matter how many letters you write to administrators, trustees, governors, whoever.

What they're not going to get is support of students or alumni. Do you think U of I students are going to go gently into that bad night? If they trot out a new mascot now, the effect will be the same as it was in 1982 when they tried to foist the O-B Bird off in students and fans at a basketball game. You hadn't heard about that? Of course not. The university covered it up; the poor O-B Bird was booed off the court, never to be seen again. Try to find even a picture.

I would like to think that Josh Whitman had nothing to do with this. But if he was in on it, talk about flushing your political capital down the drain.

But here's the deal. There will come a time when everything is stripped away but the name Fighting Illini, and then that too will be gone. They're going to grind it out, bit by bit. Heritage? It's just another word for bigotry.

More on the O-B Bird and some Chief history: Push for new mascot

And why this was announced just now: http://tinyurl.com/no-war-chant
 
It took other schools like Stanford a bit of time to deal with the mascot change as it has at Illinois. The two main options at this point are either to move on and start the process of finding a new "identity" that students and alumni can decide on or fight it until the bitter end and eventually have no input in the direction as to where it goes.
 
Charleston, IL
So what about Florida State's Seminole chant? Will they be next? I saw an article stating USC's white horse is a racist symbol too.


Florida State will never be banned, its all about money and supposedly permission too. I'm waiting on the day when we are no longer called the Illini. Its coming...........
 
In the land of the Nittany Lion
I'm waiting on the day when we are no longer called the Illini. Its coming...........
That's the ultimate goal, and there is no compromise with those who have it as their goal. You might as well look forward to something like Syracuse's mascot, an inoffensive orange sphere with a nose. They even gave up "Orangemen" and "Orangewomen." Otto the Orange is deliberately androgynous.

If you had hoped, with our new athletic director and new chancellor that there would be a return to sanity and spine, you have a right to feel disappointed.
 
In the land of the Nittany Lion
Florida State will never be banned, its all about money and supposedly permission too.
If you want to know the "live mascots" that the NCAA not only approves but thinks are better than even cartoons, here's the list of the NCAA's top five. And yes, it's topped by a loincloth-wearing Aztec with a skull on his forehead and blowing a conch shell.

But yeah, the War Chant is offensive. Pathetic, gentlemen.
 
That faction is probably much larger than the group which is "offended" by an instrumental song with no lyrics.
Also, that larger faction actually attends games, which is something that the "offended" group doesn't even do. Why anyone cares what they think is beyond me.
 
Mascoutah, IL
Look at the number of replies and posts this garnered versus the game thread. To me it's telling how this is only a negative.
Like I said before it may not be effective as a third-down crowd-pleaser, but it was something uniquely Illini. Every time the Big Ten Network or ESPN showed Illinois highlight clips of the crowd in their montages it was always generally the clapping to war chant.

I'm personally disappointed it is going away and to be honest it dampens the excitement for the home opener. Is that silly? Probably, but it was tradition. Like another poster mentioned, what makes Illinois distinct now/gives us our own identity?
 
:shield::shield::thumb:
THIS absolutely SUCKS!

I've been an Illini loving fan for more than 40 years. I have bled Orange and Blue, BUT the decisions the University is making makes me sick to my stomach and honestly is making me lose a bit of my loyalties. Seeing them succumb to the opinions of a few when the masses LOVE the Chief and everything associated with it, is incredibly frustrating. YES, you can't make EVERYONE happy, I get that, but naming a University after your heritage, and then honoring that heritage each and every day, IS NOT AN INSULT!!! It's the biggest compliment one could get!!!

This just boils my blood......
 
New tradition

F this. I'm not standing for a slow chipping away of my fond memories of my Illini and accepting bland replacements for time honored traditions. Here's what we're going to do...

We all bring drums in to the stadium and play the war chant when the team takes the field. On 3rd down we beat those drums senseless creating so much noise the other team just takes a knee to make it stop. We start to create new drum beats and rhythms that work for the game situations. The band can play a beat and we play it back, etc.

One of the best experiences of a football game is the Drumline anyway. It's time we take back the reigns and create a new better tradition at :illinois:!

:chief:
 
By the way, I had forgotten that the corrupt NCAA started all this with the postseason ban

NCAA sanctions imposed in 2005 barred Illinois from hosting postseason events. Two years later, in 2007, the university retired the chief.
 
Mascoutah, IL
What is Memorial Stadiums policy on brining in BlueTooth Speakers? Maybe we can bring em in and play it on our own?
 
Mascoutah, IL
The article makes a lot of sense even though I don't agree w/ removing it. I'm fine with moving it around and not playing it on 3rd downs. Mostly because it is a slow build up, but we are kidding ourselves if you are blaming the war chant for the crowd being quiet on 3rd downs.

Hell the war chant gave me an "excuse" to stand up and shrug off people wanting me to sit down. I don't buy the rationale that all the sudden we are going to have the stadium jumping on 3rd down now b/c Ron Burgundy has an important message.

According to the author I suppose I earned the right to "threaten cancelling tickets" b/c I did just that when Bill Cubit was announced as permanent head coach over Thanksgiving.
 
N-G article

The really disturbing thing to me about this article that no one else is talking about is that a DIA official (a State official) approached a group of students (private citizens) at a soccer game (an event open to the public) and told them that the song they were playing was "not allowed."

That is some really creepy [stuff] right there.
 
United States
N-G article

The really disturbing thing to me about this article that no one else is talking about is that a DIA official (a State official) approached a group of students (private citizens) at a soccer game (an event open to the public) and told them that the song they were playing was "not allowed."

That is some really creepy [stuff] right there.
Stranger Things. :D
 
C-U Townie
If you want to know the "live mascots" that the NCAA not only approves but thinks are better than even cartoons, here's the list of the NCAA's top five. And yes, it's topped by a loincloth-wearing Aztec with a skull on his forehead and blowing a conch shell.

But yeah, the War Chant is offensive. Pathetic, gentlemen.

I vote for orange & blue female Aztec warriors, but not getting my hopes up. ;)

Yeah, the indian on a horse with the flaming spear is so much more racist than the chief ever was. Thank you for ruining the cool sounding war chant PC police!

Gary Smith (ex band leader who started the Chief by visiting and getting the blessing of some Illini Indians) still lives in Savoy right? Wonder what he thinks.

All traditions come to an end, and maybe it's time to change...
 
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C-U Townie
N-G article

The really disturbing thing to me about this article that no one else is talking about is that a DIA official (a State official) approached a group of students (private citizens) at a soccer game (an event open to the public) and told them that the song they were playing was "not allowed."

That is some really creepy [stuff] right there.
I heard the war chant at a high school event last night fwiw.
Some people might make you hopping mad, but every American's freedom of speech is a constitutional right that state officials have zero legal authority to curtail, and are breaking the law if they try.
 
Today the MI met with the players and the team requested the band play War Chant. Unfortunately they had to be told that the song with no words was too offensive for their ears.

A song with no words was too offensive. Music. Too offensive.

We are a society where everyone has rights but no one has any responsibility.


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