Dartmouth Racism

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From Eleazar Wheelock in 1769 to Philip J. Hanlon in 2018, Dartmouth administrators have always been under fire from the student body. Whether it was the quality of food back in the days of Dartmouth’s early founding, women demanding equal rights and fair treatment on campus in the 1980’s, or recent student protests dealing with the demise of old traditions, Dartmouth’s legacy has gone through a great deal to land where it is today. Among these “obstacles”, one of the most prominent, and problematic, was rooted in the school’s mascot. From 1860 to 1970, Dartmouth’s use of a cartoon “Indian” went on with little to no public aggravation or protest. However, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, people began to realize the mascot was inhuman, as it depicted…show more content…
Throughout the 1930’s, all the way to about 1960, Dartmouth’s portrayal of the Native American had become accepted as fact, and engrossed into the everyday culture of the school. From large, extravagant murals, inaccurately representing Native Americans, to football chants and screams that mocked the Native American culture, the duration of the Dartmouth Indian mascot was long, and tells an interesting story about the attitudes that prevailed over the decades. It also provides insight as to why Dartmouth College currently has no official mascot, and probably never will again. Many would probably be surprised to learn of the crucial role Native Americans played in the founding of Dartmouth College. Dartmouth’s existence was, in part, based on the idea that Native Americans needed to be educated, and cultured. However, the plan to educate and culture Native American never really got traction, with very few Native American students being enrolled. Dartmouth, nonetheless, adopted their image for the school’s mascot, and as it turned out, greatly exploited it. In the Hovey Murals, depicted and painted by Walter Beach Humphrey, we see how Dartmouth used the Native American image disrespectfully. Throughout…show more content…
Calloway’s book, “The Indian History of an American Institution: Native Americans and Dartmouth” (2010), Calloway discusses the role Native Americans played throughout the evolution of Dartmouth College. He describes Dartmouth’s exploitation of the Indian Logo, and their use of racial stereotypes. He reinforces these facts and statements with pictures providing a visual representation to better convey his argument. Calloway includes a picture of a hand painted sign displaying a cartoon Indian roping a black bear. This was made after Dartmouth defeated the Brown Bears in football, twenty four to six (Dartmouth Brown Sign, Calloway p. 134). While not prominent at first, the second “Indian” in the background holds some significance. The “Indian” is portrayed as being drunk, kicking his foot up in the air with a bottle of alcohol in his left hand. What is also interesting is that while the Indian’s boot is in the air, the letters on his shirt spells “leg”, representing the phrase, “bootleg”. Also, he is standing behind a barrel, presumably filled with rum. The drunk “Indian” is another example of how Dartmouth exploited the Indian logo as a humorous means to support their sports teams. For the football programs, the Dartmouth “Indian” was a central cartoon character used on the cover of game programs, shown in some dehumanizing way to strike fear into the opponents. The picture on the left is the cover of a football program in 1927 (Posts). Depicted is an Indian

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