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Native American Mascots

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
The fight to eliminate sports mascots with an Indian theme has finally come to Oregon. http://www.kgw.com/sports/stories/kg....ce21687a.html

Back in February, the Chief Illiniwek mascot for the University of Illinois was retired after long battle. The news channel I got the link from was so sad when Cheif I went away. Rather interesting to see the spin they place on the subject.

I'm interested to hear what others hear have to say about this topic. I side with the Native American desire to see their people represented in a non-degrading fashion.
post #2 of 24
i am mixed. i think it depends on how.
like the cleveland indians, there mascot was smiling chief wahoo, who was supposed to be drunk indian. i never much cared for that one at all.

Also i think and could be wrong, florida state seminoles have a deal to use the name?

Now after reading the link, Since when did the term warrior only mean native americans? I hear the word i dont think of native americans at all. that is going a little to far there.

So really i guess i would say, it depends on how it is shown, if like in the case of cleveland it was a comic version, then that i have a issue with. No way do i think of native americans as a comic fiq. so i guess i would agree with the non-degrading part
post #3 of 24
I think the great majority of these mascots and team names are offensive. The Chief Wahoo symbol is just a racist caricature. Very similar to the old racist depiction of African-Americans. In fact, I am always AMAZED to know that the Cleveland Indian logo is still in use.
Maybe worst, the Washington "redskin" takes its name from a word that is very racist term (which takes its origins in a time when the US government would pay people money in exchange for killing Native Americans and bringing back their scalps)

A lot of these names and mascots are also based on the popular notion that Native Americans are a noble part of America's past. While there's nothing inherently insulting about that, it really romanticizes Native Americans to a point where they are no longer seen as real people or as part of America's present.
post #4 of 24
All I can say is that people are far too sensitive in their attempts to be "politically correct".

I can say that because I am part Cree Indian and I do not find a mascot with an "Indian" theme to be offensive. A mascot is a source of inspiration and good luck and IMHO having a mascot wear an chief's headress and a bit of war paint is not offensive.
post #5 of 24
The Uni i went to for my bachelors was originally the Hurons. They changed from this about 3-4 years before I attended to the Eagles. When the president announced his retirement the year I graduated from there, some of the student population wanted to see the Hurons return to being the mascot.

In fact when confronted, the local chief of the Huron tribe said he was honored that the name Huron was being used to represent education. Our school had the chief's backing 100%. However due to other politics at school as well as Native Americans of other tribes found it offensive.

When I posed the question about Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish, the Native Americans responded "But they're PART of the joke. That's OK".

OK I understand that the European Settlers didn't treat Native Americans like royalty or with respect. My point with the Irish is that they were treated like white trash in early American days. They were considered scum by many groups. But they're part of the joke, so its OK?

IMO chose either groups of people or change it across the board to animals. Then hope to God that animals do not learn to speak up for their rights.
post #6 of 24
Ethnic or tribal mascots don't have to be offensive. If the one in question, though, is representative of a DRUNK Indian though, well, that is offensive and racist, really, no matter how you look at it.
post #7 of 24
You can make your own decision if Chief Wahoo is a raciest image: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/...wahoo.logo.jpg

Here's my opinion: There's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. We can honor Native Americans by naming teams after them by showing them in a strong positive light. We can also be offensive and demeaning towards their culture by showing only the violent side. It just depends on how the image is cast and how it is treated with in the culture.
post #8 of 24
Hmm. Well, I wouldn't say `drunk' but I don't think it's really very tasteful. I would say it's more of a caricature and a little unkind. Especially the VERY red skin.
post #9 of 24
I think it's all in how the mascot is portrayed. A mascot that portrays Native Americans in a degrading fashion should be offensive to everyone. But just eliminating all references to Native Americans without regard is political correctness run amok. Perhaps they could consult with their local Native American community to find out whether their mascot is offensive or not.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Hmm. Well, I wouldn't say `drunk' but I don't think it's really very tasteful. I would say it's more of a caricature and a little unkind. Especially the VERY red skin.
Well... if you really want a good look at the mascot that shows up at games get a gander at Slider: http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/cle...ity_slider.jsp

You'll have to scroll down a bit to see him. I have no idea what he is supposed to be.
post #11 of 24
Looks like a mutant Barney with a skin break-out.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
Now after reading the link, Since when did the term warrior only mean native americans? I hear the word i dont think of native americans at all. that is going a little to far there.
When I heard "warrior", the first thing I think of are the Klingons from Star Trek.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Looks like a mutant Barney with a skin break-out.
Right... imagine that showing up at your 6th birthday party. I would have screamed and hid under the stairs until the big purple thing left. To me Slider is far more scary that any kind of Native American image. He's too much like a clown.
post #14 of 24
Ooooh I dont like clowns either
post #15 of 24
Being a registered tribal member, I do find it offensive. I mean, how long would it last if someone came out with a team called the n**** or similar?
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Ethnic or tribal mascots don't have to be offensive. If the one in question, though, is representative of a DRUNK Indian though, well, that is offensive and racist, really, no matter how you look at it.
i agree they dont have to be offensive, lol i am one of the last pepole to saysometing is racist, But i do find chieft wahoo in bad taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
You can make your own decision if Chief Wahoo is a raciest image: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/...wahoo.logo.jpg

Here's my opinion: There's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. We can honor Native Americans by naming teams after them by showing them in a strong positive light. We can also be offensive and demeaning towards their culture by showing only the violent side. It just depends on how the image is cast and how it is treated with in the culture.
this is the older version http://216.137.146.97/sports/images/...hiefwahoo2.JPG now that one is even more wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Looks like a mutant Barney with a skin break-out.
oh noooo we are being racist to space aliens shame on you.

anyway, i really think it comes down to how you do it, for any group
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
All I can say is that people are far too sensitive in their attempts to be "politically correct".

I can say that because I am part Cree Indian and I do not find a mascot with an "Indian" theme to be offensive. A mascot is a source of inspiration and good luck and IMHO having a mascot wear an chief's headress and a bit of war paint is not offensive.
Well folks, there you have it.
I have no Native American blood but I agree with this post.

EVERYTHING is offensive, let's just ban everything
post #18 of 24
lol i am not trying to be politically correct,
i do however think it wrong to name a team redskins, or have a cartoon drunk indian as a logo,

would we name a team the washington sambo's?? nope we would not, as that is racist.

i have less or no prbolmes with teams named after tribes , along those lines.
or like jenny said we get into things like the fighting irish,Spartans( well there are not many of those around but i guess the greeks could complain)
post #19 of 24
Some years back, the University of Arizona's Wilbur the Wildcat had his six-guns taken away, as not being politically correct. Traditionally, Wilbur dresses in Western wear, with hat, boots and (formerly) six-guns.

http://wc.arizona.edu/papers/96/4/03_2.html

When the PC outcry, against "demeaning" sports mascots began, some of my friends and I came up with some more PC names for some of the teams:

Atlanta Braves - Atlanta "Persons of Valor"

Washington Redskins - Washington "Sunburns"

Since any public mention of religion offends the PC crowd, the Padres, the Angels and ASU's Sun DEVILS will have to change their names, too.

Animal names aren't going to be safe, either - ophidiophobes will protest the Arizona Diamondbacks and Sidewinders and it's just a matter of time, before PETA protests the exploitation of animals, as sports mascots. (personally, I'd like to see KFC get hold of the San Diego Chicken - that thing is ridiculous).

Naturally, the above was written, with tongue VERY firmly planted in cheek.
post #20 of 24
Florida Seminoles has an indian for a mascot

I am also a registered native american and see no harm in these whatsoever.

I am proud of my heritage and take pride that people are using indians in this manner.
Now if they were degrading us, I would be offended.
post #21 of 24
A lot of the Native American groups at the Uni I went to claimed that they felt disgraced when
1) Someone none Indian dressed up in ceremonial clothing and "mocked" their traditional dances

2) That the image of the mascot (which use to be a chief's head in full ceremonial headdress) that was painted on the field would be trampled during the game. Many Native American rights groups saw this as insulting.

The name will probably remain the Eagles, until someone says that the Eagles are being offensive.

I'm indifferent towards the whole Native American thing. As long as the chiefs of the tribes are fine with it, then don't worry.
post #22 of 24
There was a huge hubbub about the Miami Redskins (Ohio, not Florida) a few years ago. My whole family but me is alumni of Miami, and all before they were the "Redhawks" (dumbest name ever).

The mascot was a member of the Miami tribe, who rode into the stadium on horseback wearing his own traditional outfit. If there was anything wrong with the portrayal, it was the tribe themselves perpetuating it. There was (is?) also a plaque in the hotel on campus saying how honored the tribe was to share its name with the university, which was founded in 1809 when there was no shortage of actual Miamis around.

My point? Sometimes, if it really is offensive, it should stop. Sometimes, people freak out about nothing and force something that was a great tradition to change for absolutely no good reason.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I am part Cree Indian and I do not find a mascot with an "Indian" theme to be offensive. A mascot is a source of inspiration and good luck.
me too and I feel the same way.
post #24 of 24
The mascot for my high school (Calumet) was Chief Wahoo. He has now been taken down (very recently), but we are still the Calumet Warriors.

Chief Wahoo aside, I think the use of a Native American "term" is appropriate in this instance. The area (Calumet Township) was named for the "peace pipe" used by Native Americans in that area. The high school was named for the area, as well as the Native American meaning behind it.

I was never a fan of Chief Wahoo, but I was always glad to say I was a warrior.

Then, there was our middle school. The middle school is the Lake Ridge Lakers, with an image of a Native American in a canoe, with the word Lakers written across it. No closeup (and no Chief Wahoo).
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