Indian mascots painful
to American Indians
The question in your headline "Indian mascots secure for now?" (Feb. 17) reminds me of what I heard the mother of five Indian children once say. She was responding to a non-Indian after a program about Indian mascots.
The questioner was saying how ashamed she felt, that she had not understood the full implications of the issue.
My friend, the mother, calmly said, "I can understand that you didn't know, and I don't hold you responsible." Then after a pause, she added, "But from this point on, if you encourage Indian mascots, I consider it racism."
Kudos to the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs in calling for the elimination of Indian mascots from N.C. public schools by 2003. Maybe in the process, we will all learn more about the issue and why those mascots are so painful to American Indians and harmful to Indian student achievement.
on the removal of Native American mascots from our schools successfully
spotlighted the ignorance that even school administrators bring to the
debate. We hear words such as "respect" and "honor" to defend the use of
offensive imagery, but never do we hear of officials asking Native Americans
if they, in fact, feel such respect and honor. I can see how difficult it
be to educate our children when the men and women charged with that task
don't do their own homework.
North Carolina will never achieve
educational excellence as long a single person feels belittled or a single
stereotype is allowed. Certainly, the least we can expect from educators is
the willingness to act as a moral force for all peoples without being
compelled by law or public pressure.
Moving ahead to remove Indian
mascots from our schools by 2003 is not about debating; it's about decency.