Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kill them Redskins! Yeah! High-five!

It seems like this subject came up a few times just this week.  Native mascots in sports. Read one story here.
In that story a Native activist, David Narcomey, explains why these mascots, or minstrel shows, are an offensive gesture to Natives. He says they promote low self-esteem and low self-image among the Native population while promoting racism, cultural discrimination and religious discrimination.
He says some tribes endorse the use of their images and names in sports teams, and Natives in general don’t mind the reference because; there is a lot of money involved; they choose to simply stay out of the controversy; there is no awareness; or they really don’t care at all.
“Cool your heels,” says a person who wrote a response to Narcomey and this story. This writer says that Native mascots should stay because they are a strong tribute to Native history, culture and image. These mascots show how proud and strong Natives were in a respectful manner. By having them on the field they are helping keep the historic culture alive. It also puts Natives in a mystical spotlight and keeps their memory alive.
Apparently he gives himself the authority to speak on such issues and uses “us” in his letter because he is 1/64 Cherokee.
He may need reminding from the football field that he “is” Native and there are still Natives in this country. But I don’t. I am 4/4 Navajo and so are all my family members as far as my memory is concerned.
Mascots like these only make me feel like I am dead and we were totally defeated; like they can use our image, our feathers, our weapons, our dances and our tradition any way they please.
Sure, I was a Warrior in elementary school, but 99.5 percent of the school population was Navajo, and our mascot had the right image with the correct Navajo symbols of protection and bravery. We didn’t dress some fool up to parade around the court or field in mock attire. We were real Warriors with 100 percent of our ancestry running through our veins. Our Warrior was nothing like these clich√© mascots with their fluorescent feathers, fake deer skin and hatchet. I’m sure the eastern tribes don’t like that one bit. I sure don’t.
I agree fully with Narcomey. I’m glad 60-something percent of Native mascots were removed from high schools and some colleges, but they all need to go.
Boy, you just wait until Halloween comes around and I see white chicks wearing raunchy Indian costumes.

1 comment:

  1. A good blog Andi. I agree that Native mascots don't need to remind us of our culture. We are so fortunate of all the things we do have that remind us of our culture but a mascot isn't one of them that's for sure!