First there was The Office.
Jim Halpert: [imitating Dwight] “Fact: bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.” (From “Product Recall episode” in 2007).
Then there was Sarah Palin.
“This mama grizzly … has more reason than ever to protect our young” – Sarah Palin, 2008.
There’s always been the references to Russia as a bear.
“Don’t poke bear.” – Commonly referred to when talking about Russia.
Then there’s that great presidential campaign commercial from Ronald Reagan in 1984. Entitled “Bear” it makes its point to a country in the midst of the Cold War.
“There’s a bear in the woods.”
And in 2017, bears were forcing us to put guns in public schools – at least according to Betsy DeVos.
“I will refer back to Sen. Enzi and the school he is talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine there is probably a gun in a school to protect from potential grizzlies.”
Betsy DeVos said those now famous words during her confirmation hearing on January 17th, 2017 in response to questioning about guns on school campuses.
In an exhausting search to find the number of public school students killed by grizzlies or other bears, no number besides ZERO has shown up. On the other hand, the number of students killed with guns rises each year at alarming rates.
And honestly, who stood up for bears and grizzlies in this case of absolute discrimination? In an attempt at a red herring on avoiding the question about guns on school properties, DeVos showed a distinct hatred of mammals that were probably here well before humans were, and in doing so directly offended many icons who are of the family Ursidae.
She certainly said that bears have no place in schools. And that just hurts people like Grizzly Adams in the old grizzly groin.
That meant these American icons could no longer grace the hallways of any school.
Winnie the Pooh would have to go by “Mr. Sanders.”
Baloo the Bear still needs to stay away from the man villages.
Yogi Bear? Yep, and Boo-Boo too. At least kids kept their lunches.
Fozzie Bear? You wacka-wacka betcha.
Ted? I know he’s foul-mouthed, but still.
Little Bear? Yep. Even him and his first grade self. Maurice Sendak was rolling in his grave where the wild things are.
Paddington Bear? Yep. Gentle Ben? Yep. Even the Coca-Cola Bears who wanted to wish you Happy Holidays?
And what about all of the schools that still have “bears,” “grizzlies,” or even “bruins” as mascots? According to mascotdb.com, over 390 high schools, colleges, and professional teams have “bears” as a mascot. Over 100 have “bruins.” Over 100 have “grizzlies.” We’re talking about incredible schools like:
- University of California at Berkley
- University of Maine
- Oakland University
- Brown University
- Cornell (uses a bear as mascot)
- University of Montana.
Even Bowdoin College has the bear as a mascot and it educated Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Franklin Pierce, and Nathaniel Hawthorne at one time!
Think of the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Bruins, and the Memphis Grizzlies.
And as if the line had not already been crossed and defecated upon (because bears do that kind of stuff in the woods),
there were Bad News Bears.
They’re literally just cubs! Look at them. And the law says that kids must go to school, but Betsy DeVos said it was alright to have guns in schools to protect against these “grizzlies-to-be.”
Time for Betsy to leave and go hibernate.