Indians Are People, Not Mascots

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th grade October 2007

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Should schools be allowed to have Indian mascots? My response has always been no because these trappings and seasonal insults offend the intelligence of thousands of Indigenous Peoples in this country. Invented media images prevent millions of Americans from understanding the authentic human experience of First Nations People, both from long ago and today. I see that the way Indian mascots are used today is about "dysconscious racism" and a form of cultural violence. Dysconscious racism is a form of racism that accepts dominant white norms and privileges. For example, if you have seen these racial antics and negative behaviors portrayed by Indian mascots for hundreds of times for most part of your life, you may become absolutely numb to it. That's what I mean by dysconscious racism. However, the thousand of ways in which Indian mascots are used today in American sports culture is racist and should be eliminated, with education used as the tool for liberation.

Indians are people not mascots. "No mascot, logo, or nickname is so important that it supersedes a child's right to learn". The United States Commission on Civil Rights deeply respects the right of all Americans to freedom of expression under the First Amendment and in no way would attempt to prescribe how people can express themselves. The use of stereotypical images of Native Americans by educational institutions has the potential to create a racially hostile educational environment that may be intimidating to Indian students. American Indians have the lowest high school graduation rates in the nation and even lower college attendance and graduation rates. The perpetuation of harmful stereotypes may exacerbate these problems.

The stereotyping of any racial, ethnic, religious or other groups when promoted by our public educational institutions, teach all students that stereotyping of minority groups...