Chief Illiniwek, the athletic mascot of the University of Illinois who was scuttled and banned from campus in February, was allowed back for homecoming celebrations. The university on its decision to allow the Chief back: “The university values free speech and free expression and considers homecoming floats, decorations, costumes and related signage all representations of such personal expression. Therefore, Chancellor Herman has directed the Homecoming Committee to strike the existing policy from the homecoming float guidelines.”
Would it be hyperbolic to draw an analogy between this and, say, a bunch of white kids on campus performing in blackface? And what changed between the February decision to get rid of The Chief and the decision to revive him?