Native American Mascot Controversy In a recent study conducted by the sociology professor at California State University, James Fenelon, it was found that out of 786 Native Americans 67% agreed that the term ‘Redskins’, used in sports team’s names, is offensive. Redskin’s and any other Native American term, slang or imagery is offensive and should not be used because these things are sacred to Native American culture, and most of the mascots and the terms used are stereotypical, degrading, and dehumanizing. Many of the mascots used today and in the past related to Native American culture, and though the name may not be meant for the intent to harm or disrespect, they still do cause this.
Sports team’s mascots have been known to have the most stereotypical features. These mascots are offensive towards Native Americans, because mascots have feathers, headdresses, and even braids and mohawks. Mascots in the past have made it look as if them and their teams have no respect or common decency for Native Americans. Some of the most offensive features of these mascots are the mascots having weird, and misshapened faces. For example the mascot for the Cleveland indians.
For the past few decades there has been a debate raging in American sports culture about the use of Native American names in sports. Teams like the Washington Redskins and several other professional and college teams have been criticized for using Native American names as mascots and team names. Some people criticize the names and say that it’s offensive and demeaning and should be changed. Others say that the names honor Native American heritage have been a team tradition for many years and should not be changed. Sports teams should not use Native American names as trademarks or mascots because they promote negative stereotypes of Native Americans in society.
There are many factors that effect Native Americans such as treaty rights, health, education, and economic issues, a number of studies done by various government agencies, including the Department of Justice, have shown extremely troubling rates of violent crime inflicted on American Indian peoples, most by non-Natives, as well as a suicide incidence among American Indian children and young adults that is several times that of other ethnic groups or the general population. However, Native Americans representation through mascots and logos is an issue that effects the Native people in a more personal way. Native Americans sport team logos, mascots and nicknames are representing Native Americans in a disrespectful way which is effecting the way we perceive
The Indian mascot was originally designed to render tribute to Native Americans, not as a racial symbol. In the past forty years, changing the name backfired, and citizens began taking offense to the name because they felt like the name represented the color of Native American’s skin. Nevertheless, many fans, including Native Americans, do not consider the name or the mascot to be degrading or racial. Fans of the Washington Redskins participated in a poll that reveals, “77 percent reject changing the name” while in another poll “71 percent of NFL fans did not find the Redskins name offensive” (Lingebach 2). Clearly, from the results of the two polls, many fans would be unhappy if the Redskins’ name were to be changed.
In the article “Most Native American-Themed Sports Mascots are Flattering and Not Racist” Chief Lee Vest of the Appalachian Confederated Tribes stated “I personally think it’s an honor to be chosen (as a mascot).” But he quickly points out that “Even though people say they’re silly for pretesting it, the biggest problem for all Native Americans is the use of Redskin.” The use of Redskin is racist and extremely offensive. Chief Lee Vest explains that if history textbooks mentioned that the term “Redskins” was coined during a Native American genocide, the public would understand why it is an offensive term. Native American themed mascots should not be used as sport mascots because of the inaccurate picture they give of the Native American people.
School systems that show negative images of American Indians give of a negative impact on the self esteem of the American Indian students. This also disrespects the spiritual beliefs and values of the American Indian people. In the State of Oregon they announced that their public schools are not allowed to use Native Americans as mascots or sports teams names like “Indians”, “Chiefs”, “Braves”, and “Redskins” but not “Warriors because it’s imagery did not specifically mean Native Americans. The schools were expected to change the names
After American colonists took what belongs to them, the narrator calls out to the audience to at least give Native Americans one small thing: the name of a mascot. Native Americans have sustained a longstanding sense of pride and dignity. Through an emotional appeal, the images and footage of children present hope for change. The ad presents the possibility that the Washington Redskins mascot can change, continuing this deep pride and
The final concern in which needs to be addressed is the fact that these negative stereotypes of Native Americans make it very dangerous for them because of the rise of crime rates against the Natives. The rates for crimes against the Natives has increased and puts many of them in danger. These crimes are classified as hate crimes because of the fact that these crimes are done in hatred of them as a people and not a personal cause. According to Department of Justice analysis, "American Indians are more likely than people of other races to experience violence at the hands of someone of a different race." These factors only show that we need to take serious actions soon in order to prevent this violence to continue before its too
People are starting to wonder if using these kinds of names are appropriate or offensive to the tribe the team is named after. The debate raises this question: should Indian names and mascots be allowed in sports? In the article “Indian Mascots—You’re Out” by Jack Shakely (2011), the author tries to convince his audience that the use of
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).
In doing so, evidence will be provided stating that the mascots are not meant to become a slur, Natives are alright with the idea of having a mascot named after them, and what the Supreme Court decides. When opposers view the Washington Redskins, they think of a racial slur that is meant to offend and stereotype Native Americans. It seems as though the opposition has not done the proper research on a stance they are so adamant about. Researchers say that the name change of the Washington Redskins, “coincided with the hiring of a new coach, an Indian named Lone
The first television series on the NBC network starred a Native American as a law enforcer of white law and order. Now, Native Americans were viewed as civilized men. More films were made that promoted Native Americans. Though the positive stereotypes were introduced, it still didn’t warrant problems. In the 1971 Advertising Council’s Keep America Beautiful public service announcement is sincere, it still confines the Native American chief to the past, as he is representing a by-gone era and a by-gone people.
“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon." (Bradbury 58) Censorship is the act of suppressing speech, works of literature, music, movies, work of arts, and ideas that are thought to be politically incorrect, offensive, and threatening to society. The United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances ( law.cornell.edu) However, historically, government officials and organizations have been “abridging” our freedoms since the inception of this
Censorship in America can vary between the silencing of young voices and the prevention of exposing others of inappropriate material. Many people are afraid of losing their freedom of speech, as first amendment rights should be mandatory for American citizens. Polar to this argument insists the importance of censorship, as it can shield the public from information that can lead to fear or chaos. Leaving students ignorant to world problems, however, is argued by Sonja West that it removes their first amendment rights and creates a future working-class of Americans who are clouded from the truth. West is a law professor at the University of Georgia who is distinguished for her expertise in the first amendment law and minor in journalism.