Since 1970, over 2,000 high schools and colleges have dropped their Native American-themed mascots (Lowe). Mascots that stereotype a certain race or minority in any way is almost always racist and offensive. Indian mascots do not only lower self-respect for native American adults and children but completely disrespect their culture and religion. Just like the imagery of slavery or poor Irish immigrants, Indian mascots not only paint a portrait of twenty-first-century racism but is also a constant reminder of the most oppressed minority in the United States of America. Mascots stereotyping any race is demoralizing and degrading not only for the adults, but the children growing up. The love for a hometown mascot tends to be passed down through generations and become a family tradition, but nothing should be more important that respecting someone’s heritage or self-worth.
Native American mascots have been a common mascot among athletic teams for several generations. The mascots tend to wear a headdress and their clothing will be the attire of colonial era Indians. They tend to be very popular and are used in a comparison of a school’s team to exemplify their ferocity and viciousness. In the 1960’s, the number of Indian mascots throughout schools and professional sporting teams in the U.S. were about 3,000. Today, the number is around 900 Native American mascots around the nation (Anastasia).
By the end of the 19th century, the Indian population had fallen drastically since the white man discovered the Western Hemisphere. Around 1920, Americans gravitated towards college life and nostalgia of the diminishing race of Native Americans (Connoly 520). In the early 1900’s students at a ...
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...n around a very long time reminding the people of the Native American heritage of the struggles their ancestors faced. When,”Chief Osceola,” rides onto the field it is not a representation of heroism, but a reminder of the dishonesty of the U.S. government and their perpetual lies they have told the indigenous people of North America since the white man arrived.
Today, Oregon is the only state that has completely banned Native American mascots in public schools statewide (Anastasia). In May of 2015, fifty senators wrote the NFL’s commissioner requesting the Washington Redskins to change their name (Potenza). Adidas has recently started a campaign to get rid of some of the remaining Native American mascots by revamping the schools uniforms and sponsoring their program. The company sees the short and long terms effects a mascot like that can have on students (Adidas)
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