WESTERN Washington University canceled classes on Tuesday over alleged racial comments made toward students of color on social media.

Hate speech is a serious issue, and university president Bruce Shepard said an investigation is rightfully underway.

However, the catalyst of the alleged incident is nothing less than ridiculous.

Apparently, some students of color are objecting that the school's mascot - a Viking - is too Eurocentric and should be changed to something more inclusive.

That led to a blog post by Shepard that actually contained the following phrase: "Mascots matter."

Wrote Shepard: "Does a Eurocentric and male mascot point to the future we wish to embrace? Or to the past we would move beyond? And, is this, then, an image all can identify with?"

Are you freakin' kidding?

Does this mean the fighting Leprechaun has to go? What about the Pirates, Raiders, Terrible Swedes and Vandals? And doesn't someone have to object to the Quakers, Demon Deacons, Saints and Presbyterian Blue Hose on religious grounds?

Simon Fraser in University in British Columbia has a cool mascot - McFogg the Dog, but its nickname - the Clan - is troublesome.

Of course, Western Washington could adopt the nickname used by the men's and women's teams at Centenary College in Louisiana: the Gentlemen and Ladies.

Too heterocentric?

Sigh.