Mascots, the Muppets big brother and the logos of school and teams are destroying Native Americans self-esteem. The seemingly innocent Sesame Street characters with growth hormones, we always thought that they were innocent, but the truth is most of the time they probably are not. Many schools and team mascot names mock either animals or a minority group like Native Americans. Some school even goes sore far as to parody a chant from native Americans, but they don't think of how it feels to be on the side of the native Americans. How would you feel if a white guy who treats every day like Halloween always made fun of you, what do you think it does to their self-esteem to be bullied by Elmo? The truth that is seen in Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Missing Point by Erik Stegman and Victoria Phillips, and Illinois Must Finally Remove All Links To Chief Illiniwek by Shannon Ryan is that team mascots and stereotypical fan behavior is just showing bullying on steroids, the same bullying Arnold experiences in Reardan high school in Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.
Shannon Ryan discussed in an article about the school in Illinois that would have student dress up as an Indian chief and perform multiple chants mocking those of Native Americans, and the school thought it was fine. But the N.C.A.A thought otherwise, they banned the “chief’ from any and all games and just recently banned the “War Chant” and a few other chants of the same sort.
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Native Americans symbols and culture exemplify the things that we admire in our athletes strength, endurance and courage. However ,the way that we use these symbols can be offensive and hurtful to the very people that we want to honor. In this paper , I will discussed how teams are mocking and being disrespectful to the Native American culture.
Proponents believe tribal symbols display honor and respect towards the Native American people. They cheer that the inclusion of this iconography in the athletic arena serves to pay admiration and ongoing tribute to the identity of the Native American culture. They believe that rather than extinguishing Native American mascots as a symbolic reference for schools and sports teams, the choice to sensitively use such imagery should be without sanction.
To begin with, it is racist and derogatory to use Native Americans as mascots. One town in Montana, Ronan, calls its sports teams the “Chiefs” and the “Maidens”. In several Native American cultures, maidens are considered less than or lower than women. Also, the mascots of other schools are often animals. Using Native
The lack of accurate representation of Native Americans in our everyday lives has left members of society without more than a stereotype to draw from when thinking about characteristics of Native Americans. Native Americans have “relative invisibility” in mainstream media and this lets the few inaccurate portrayals, such as a sports team’s mascot, have an overwhelming amount of power in forming stereotypes (Fryberg, Markus, Oyserman, Stone, 2008, pg. 208). Many members of society have a very narrow view of what they understand a Native American to look, dress, and act. These ideas mostly come from what they see in media through the caricatures used as mascots, childhood cartoons, and similar
There has been many controversy with teams using Native American name for mascots and has become a major issue in today’s society. Many have viewed the Washington Redskins as honor for Native Americans, others see it racist, insensitive, and demeaning. Woods (2016) claims that “the complaint is that the use of stereotypical team names, mascots, and logos perpetuates an ideology that dehumanizes and demeans the cultures of Native Americans” (p. 298). Since the issue arise, many scholars, journalists and leaders have joined the battle to ensure that each team will eliminate the nicknames since it is considered abusive or hostile. It may take time but the trend is growing. More than 1,400 professional, collegiate,
Roppolo insists, “The real problem with the kind of dysconscous, symbolic, abstract racism that is perpetuated today by sports mascots… is that it enables very real, very concrete, and very conscious acts of violent racism that American Indian people still face in this country and this hemisphere on a daily basis”(228). This demonstrates how the mascot does have a detrimental impact towards Native Americans. People who are subjected to seeing Native Americans through these mascots already have fallacious perceptions of what Native Americans behave like. Due to this, people will start to react accordingly to how they feel the Native Americans are supposed to act due to the distorted stereotypes that are presented to the public. People do not even realize that they are acting this way towards Native Americans, because Roppolo claims that Americans have gotten used to being racist towards Native Americans for so long that it is now invisible, aka dysconscious racism(226). People do not realize that it is ingrained in them, so when they come into contact with a Native American they may perceive the situation different than what actually happened. Roppolo justified this by going on to add, “One young man had his brother nearly beaten to death - his skull cracked open, not just cracked - when several bouncers at a local nightclub had to control his ‘rowdy’
The year is 1991. The Atlanta Braves had just completed their first trip to the Fall Classic in four decades, and the Washington Redskins were undefeated, well on their way to their third Super Bowl title. All across the eastern seaboard, sports fans were tasting success - while American Indians were in an uproar. This year witnessed the peak of the protests over the use of mascots with American Indian themes. With two of the major professional sports teams in question making front-page news across the country, many of us heard American Indians' complaints for the first time. Suddenly, thanks to the cries of thousands of demonstrators, the names of many Americans' favorite teams had become synonymous with "nigger."
Historically, Native Americans are the weakest minority economically and politically in the United States. Unlike African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans, the indigenous-American population has received very little political power and even less economic status than they had in the 1950’s. The use of the image of Native Americans, tribal names and images, though romanticized as great chiefs and warriors in the sports arena, are none-the-less being exploited to the great monetary gain of the franchisee but not to the financial or psychological reward of the people whom
Many areas of the world have been affected because they were accused of having a racist mascot or team name. In the United States many teams have respect for Native Americans. Counterpoint: Native American-Themed Sports Teams Represent the History and Traditions of the Areas They Represent, and Changing Names Does a Disservice to the
Thus, it seems odd to suggest that naming a team after an Indian tribe is a calculated insult. A team or school embraces a mascot that represents the favorable traits and characteristics of its members. Such is the case with the Florida State Seminoles, who are named after a tribe with its origin in that southern state. The Seminole tribe optimistically favored the use of the Indian mascot and even facilitated the design of authentic dress that is proudly worn at sporting and community events. Similar to the Seminoles, the University of Illinois preserved their mascot, Chief Illiniwek, for almost 80 years. Named after the indigenous Illiniwek tribe, the Chief was a customary sideline figure at football and basketball games until 2007 when the NCAA forced the University of Illinois to remove this historic mascot. Unfortunately, the collegiate governing body failed to realize what this symbol meant to the collegiate Illinois community. Illini students were polled regarding the action and a majority disapproved of the decision. Sixty-nine percent of the students voted to keep Chief Illiniwek as their mascot. (Haugh). These students believed that removing Chief Illiniwek as the University of Illinois’ mascot would diminish the passion associated with their university. After the forceful removal of the Native American mascot by the NCAA, the students felt
All over the world people use mascots to represent something. I think using Indian mascots is not a big issue. Those mascots have been used to represent their power and strength. I couldn’t see a single element in using mascot can be disgraceful to somebody’s culture. Actually in my view it’s the best way of paying homage to somebody. It’s really a surprising that Indian Native organizations are also becoming sensitive about this issue. I have never come across a single person who ever describe that this mascot means something bad about something. Mascots always used to represent qualities of different things. What had happened with them century ago that was their fault. In my view Indians didn’t try to be part of new advancement which British brought with them and that was their fault. Even now if any nation is technically or by any means is strong or advance, that will certainly rule the others, if others want to survive they have to mold themselves with the new advancements. That was really great that Indian’s were proud of their culture that they knew how to live with nature and they tried to live with that. But Like Amash people here they are strongly committed to their customs and culture but they know if they won’t mold some of their living customs then there will be very difficult for them to survive, this is was the point that Indians didn’t realize at that moment. Indian instead of adopting themselves with new advancement they have
Many people do not consider themselves supporting Native American mascots that depict them in a bad manner. But when people walk around with a Atlanta Braves shirt on with a Indian with a tomahawk in his hand, it is degrading to the Indians. It is stereotyping them. School mascots and Sports team’s mascots are named after groups of people for no reason known. Notre Dame was founded by Irish Catholics, but their sports team was named the Fighting Irish. The name Fighting Irish has nothing to do with the Irish Catholics, it depicts them in a wrong way.(Price, 3). Team names can be changed to similar names that do not depict certain groups of people. Like the Redskins can be called the Red Hawks or the
To start the article, Shakley tells the audience a story about the time he came home with a Cleveland Indians hat with the famous Chief Wahoo logo (The Cleveland Indians mascot is Chief Wahoo and is one of the most controversial mascots in American sports). This hat was later thrown in the trash by his mother (that had been fighting against Native American stereotypes her whole life), who Shakley describes as having “the look of betrayal”. Shakley uses strong words to describe his negative opinion on Native American mascots by stating that the North Dakota Fighting Sioux provoked a feeling in him that was embarrassed and angry. Shakley described it as “It was an irritant, like a long forgotten piece of shrapnel working its way to
The American Psychological Association had found that using representation of the mascots “undermines the educational experiences of members of all communities- especially those who have had little or no contact with Indigenous peoples” (APA). When people view a culture being paraded as a mascot, it can become their singular view and knowledge on the ethnic group. There is nothing to stop the formulation of what students know about Native Americans when there are few natives around. With the allowance of mascots to represent Native American in a way as they do now, wearing headdresses or war paint and using “peace pipes” has become a trend and something “cool” to do. Headdresses are traditionally a part of the Plains tribes and are considered sacred. Only revered warriors or significant people could wear war bonnets or headdresses. Feathers, especially eagle feathers, are very sacred to Native Americans. These appropriations continue to be a negative and demeaning aspect of using Native Americans as
If people took the opportunity to learn about Native American cultures in school or in his or free time, then people can avoid insulting another person’s culture.