One thing that we did not really touch on in class is the use of Native Americans as mascots. I should first mention that I disagree with this concept completely. A few weeks ago I attended a conference and had the pleasure of hearing a Native American woman by the name of Suzan Shown Harjo speak on this issue. One thing that Harjo said that really stuck with me was, “If you want to honor us, name a school after us.” As I thought more about what she said, I started to agree with it more. I have never heard of any schools named after Native Americans. I never understood why people thought it was okay to use a group of people’s culture as entertainment for sports. I recently read an article about a local school that got to keep their mascot. After reading this article, I read the comments and I was disgusted. Alumni of this school were commenting on how changing the mascot should not have even been considered and how that mascot was a part of their history. I am not Native, but I found these comments offensive. In my opinion, I feel that those who are responsible for the decision to keep these mascots want to feel a sense of ownership. I don’t feel as if these people care about the history of the school, I feel as if it is deeper than that. Even if it is not deeper than this, I’m still unsure of why these people have been so firm with their decisions to keep these mascots.
If we believe that we have schools and institutions that are unbiased and do not teach hate, what does this tell us? Why is this an issue if people of this background are fighting and telling the majority that these mascots are offensive? Do you think that there is more behind the reasonings of keeping these mascots?