I think there is an irony in the Indian-themed mascot controversy that is largely unremarked upon. It seems to me that these nicknames, at the time they were adopted, reflected a certain degree of respect. The MJS editorial board and liberal blogger Carrie Lynch seem distressed that the name "Red Raiders", for example, connotes "an element of bellicosity" and is "predatory" or "hostile." The unstated assumption is that this is derogatory.
Maybe so, but I don't know that it was intended to be. When it comes to competitive sports, the connotation of bellicosity is generally regarded as a good thing. My son graduated from Homestead High School whose teams are known as the Highlanders. When you enter the school's campus there is a statue of a Scottish warrior with a very big sword. I do not think the message that this intends to send is an affirmation of the Scottish Enlightenment with its commitment to reasoned discourse and tolerance. Think Braveheart, not David Hume. I am half Scots-Irish. I suppose that I could complain that this does not reflect the true role of Scotsmen in the world, but I would be manufacturing offense.
Indian-themed nicknames, it seems to me, were largely adopted because those who chose them wanted to invoke a certain image of the nobility and bravery which they found expressed in the mythic Native American warrior. You can argue that this myth is inaccurate or that it is not one that today's Native Americans wish to see propagated, but it wasn't a sign of disrespect.
I don't have a huge problem with removing Native American imagery that bothers people today. But once you get rid of images like Tommy Raider and Willie Wampum, names like Red Raiders and Warriors are pretty generic. To demand that they be eliminated because they once were associated with an image that we have now decided was inappropriate is both unnecessary and revealing. It seems rooted more in the desire of those demanding the change to show their supposed moral rectitude than it is the need to remove any remaining offense.