Bigotry and mockery are two concepts that the United States has fought with since its creation, and it seemed that it was disappearing, but it hasn’t. Many schools, of all levels, are using a Native American mascot to represent their sporting teams and this has brought much controversy over the truth behind these mascots. This idea is the mocking a heritage for money and amusement of others. It does not, in any way, represent the truth behind Native American modern life. Lastly, if a mascot was used to represent another race, it would be deemed insulting and would immediately be removed.
Using Native Americans as mascots is a cruel form of mockery and racism, and must be put to an end. A mascot is used to make money and to attract and amuse crowds. For many sports teams, mascots are animals such as bears or tigers. By using a Native American as a mascot, you are labeling them as lesser than the spectators of the sport. A Native American is a person, not an animal that one can use and sell for their own benefits. A student should not feel that their own school is mocking their family and their heritage for entertainment purposes.
One student of a North Carolina high school had even said, “How long would you want to stay in a place where you’re being mocked and laughed at? ” By mocking this heritage, they are not only offending people, but losing money in the process of trying to make it because many students prefer to not go to a school where they feel they are being made fun of. The use of a Native American as a mascot is offensive and must immediately be put to a stop. The idea of a Native American used to entertain people or represent sports teams is not at all what a real person of this heritage is.
When the term “Indian” is used, many think of someone wearing face paint and a feathered headdress, the exact icon for the Cleveland Indians baseball team. However, the modern Native American is never dressed in anything like this. This mascot provides a false image to the rest of the world about a real culture. A representative had said that Florida State University’s mascot is “eye-catching but not historically accurate”. These images send out a negative reputation for Native Americans, and even make them seem like war-loving savages.
The modern life Native Americans near the university are running a casino, not wreaking havoc on other tribes. This mascot sends a false and negative reputation about the true Indian culture that must be stopped. Racism has, over the years, become a rather sensitive topic in the United States. After years upon years of slavery, many are quick to assume that any comment towards an African American is based upon racism. However, no one jumps to conclusions when hundreds of schools using a heritage to amuse people and make money. According to N. C. A. A. resident Myles Brand, “At times, Indians are reduced to caricature. ”
If any school had dared to use an African American as their sports team mascot, it would bring massive controversy. To prove this, a group of students at the University of Northern Colorado nicknamed their team the “Fightin’ Whites”. This was quickly deemed extremely inappropriate, just as the use of any race in a nickname should. If one is against racism, they must be against it in all types, regardless of if it’s about African Americans or Native Americans, and the use of a mascot in this way is incredibly racist.
As Brand had said, “If we don’t stick to our values, we lose our integrity. ” The use of a Native American mascot is incredibly disrespectful to the true culture of these people. It does not show the real culture, it uses something sacred to make money, and it even promotes racism. By the school’s use of this mascot, we are allowing the bigotry and racism to spread throughout the world. This concept must be put to a stop immediately and must start with our region removing the high school’s mascot.