A group of University of Denver students got a surreal lesson last week at the intersection of pop culture and political correctness, social activism and Internet memes. While filming a Harlem Shake video (see it on the next page) with DU's former mascot, Denver Boone, the group got an earful from three other students who believe that the bearded, coonskin-cap wearing pioneer symbolizes the subjugation of Native Americans in the Old West.
Here's the video:
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Created in 1968, Denver Boone began life as a cartoon character designed by a Walt Disney artist; he served as the school's official mascot for thirty years. But in the late 1990s, some students began to complain about Boone, and the school got rid of him in 1998. Ten years later, however, a movement was formed to bring Boone back. It failed, but DU allows students and alumni to use the image and the mascot at various games and activities.
To read more about this story, check out "Boone Town" in this week's Off Limits.
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