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Oregon Bans Native American Mascots: Should More States Do the Same?

News 2012/05/19 21:55:01
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The Oregon Board of Education has spoken. Public schools in the state must discontinue the use of Native American mascots by July 2017—or risk the loss of state funding.

The new regulation, which bans the use of Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots, is being described as the toughest and most far-reaching of its kind. According to Oregon officials, Wisconsin is the only other state with a similar ban, though their policy is far less stringent. In Wisconsin, if complaints are made, schools must prove that their mascots do not promote discrimination, harassment, or stereotyping.

Fifteen Oregon high schools, and an unknown number of elementary and middle schools, are impacted by the new policy. Names specifically prohibited include “Redskins,” “Savages,” “Indians,” and “Braves.” Schools that use the name “Warriors” will be allowed to continue doing so, as long as they abandon any graphics associated with Native American tribes, customs, or traditions.



The state school board considered eight hours of public testimony and 700 written comments (400 in favor and 300 against) before voting 5-1 to accept the new policy. Individuals against the regulation argued in favor of maintaining longstanding community traditions and avoiding expensive changes in a time of tight public budgets. They also claimed that in some cases the mascots were intended as respectful tributes.

However, the state schools superintendent, Susan Castillo, argued that “intent is not enough.” She added, “We need to focus on what the impact is on our kids.”

And according to Se-ah-dom Edmo, an educator at Lewis and Clark College who testified in favor of the ban on behalf of the Oregon Indian Education Association, the impact is definitely not positive on Native American students.

“If you were like me and grew up here in Oregon and played opposing these schools that had Indian mascots, there was harm that was done there,” she said. “I think they were intending to honor native folks, but any time that you objectify a person or stereotype a group of people, which is really what the mascots did, it ceases to become a truth about them. The broader psychological impacts show lower self-esteem for native students and poor race relations.”

So SodaHeads, what do you think about Oregon’s ban on Native American mascots? Should more states do the same?

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na...

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Top Opinion

  • Cal 2012/05/19 22:07:55
    No
    Cal
    +29
    Why exactly? Are we going to ban vikings, patriots, cowboys, and broncos next? Dumbest thing ever.

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  • Navin Johnson (The Jerk) 2014/09/10 04:18:21
    No
    Navin Johnson (The Jerk)
    go home Oregon,you're drunk.
  • Etrigan The Demon 2014/09/10 04:13:11
    No
    Etrigan The Demon
    oh,ffs people! sounds like they want to erase all memory of Native Americans. don't be fooled.
  • goblue1968 2012/05/31 17:03:07
    No
    goblue1968
    And they actually had to hold eight hours of public hearings to talk about this waste of time! Well, I suppose that kept them from using the time to do more damage, like spending more taxpayers' money on union bennies!
  • Warren 2012/05/25 21:15:54 (edited)
    No
    Warren
    What might appease modern day PC supporters, is to do away the stereotypical Indian head and facial images, and replace it with a roulette wheel or slot machine... That way, it wouldn't be based on appearance... and a heck of a lot more truthful !
  • boyd868b 2012/05/25 03:25:50
    No
    boyd868b
    +1
    bunch of whinny ass cry babies. if they FEEL that bad about it they should give the indians their homes and land and move back to where they came from. what weenies!!!
  • baboula 2012/05/23 16:41:02
    No
    baboula
    PC going off the deep end-- Whether they like it or not, Native Americans are part of this country's history and not allowing any mention smacks of discrimination. How about the Oregon Board of Education pay attention to THE CHILDREN"S EDUCATION!!!!
  • Gunner 2012/05/23 01:37:07
    No
    Gunner
    +1
    Ridiculous. I wish my school would've changed our mascot and name. We were surrounded by the Redskins, Panthers, Bearcats, Spartans, Tigers, etc. We were Beavers.
    "Don't mess with us, or we'll gnaw your tree down!"
  • shenendoah Gunner 2012/05/23 03:00:10
    shenendoah
    Don't forget the ducks. It rhymes with so many four letter words. Your comment was great BTW
  • Bunk11 2012/05/22 21:13:21
    No
    Bunk11
    +3
    This is more politically correct stupidity. So they found an Indian who doesn't like Indian nicknames. Most Indians who have an opinion are happy with the names because the names were chosen to honor the Indians. And if some team wants to change its name to the Jews or Hebrews, I'd be happy to have them do so. I'd love to see the headlines "Jews beat Crusaders, advance to finals."
  • Ron in Oregon 2012/05/22 21:11:33
    No
    Ron in Oregon
    Liberal Oregonians are really stupid.
    They even renamed everything that had squaw in the name.
  • shenendoah Ron in ... 2012/05/23 03:01:32
    shenendoah
    My state makes me so proud,,,yeah, right.
  • Dawn 2012/05/22 20:50:00
    Yes
    Dawn
    +1
    I feel like mascots should be animals not stereotypes. That's just my opinion though I don't really think it should be forced on other people.
  • BoJay 2012/05/22 19:54:24
    No
    BoJay
    +2
    the 1st amendment
    Taking away the right to name such mascots is the same same as taking our right to choose for our self's
  • rugrat1411 2012/05/22 19:08:09
    No
    rugrat1411
    +1
    PC needs to STOP!!!!
  • chaoskitty123 2012/05/22 18:34:55
    Yes
    chaoskitty123
    Just switch to Celtic, Viking and Barbarian mascots where in order to ban them or act like idiots they would have to say white schools are discriminating against their own ancestry.

    The word "Braves" doesn't have to mean Native American and you can even keep mascots with painted face, feathers and so forth because Celtics did the same thing.

    Native Americans want it removed then remove it... but if Native Americans didn't even ask for this, then the board of education is out of bounds as unless the native peoples themselves ask for this... they have no legal right.

    I'm just waiting for these crackpots to determine that states, counties and cities named after native peoples have to change their names... I think you would have a big fight on your hands.
  • Dawn chaoski... 2012/05/22 20:53:39
    Dawn
    I'm not saying it's grounds for funding cuts but don't you think it's kind of weird for a mascot to be a stereotype. I'm just saying it's kind of weird.
  • Ron in ... Dawn 2012/05/22 21:13:28
    Ron in Oregon
    +1
    Do you watch Portlandia......it is true.
  • Bunk11 chaoski... 2012/05/22 21:19:40
    Bunk11
    But if the names are changed to Celtics, etc., then people will complain that those exclude blacks, Hispanics and American Indians. When Eastern Michigan U. was discussing changing its name from the Hurons to the Eagles, the chief of the Huron tribe wrote a letter saying he was proud to have the Huron name associated with EMU, but the PC liberals on the EMU board decided they were better judges of what was offensive and changed the name. This is typical.

    But if they're going to say the mascot names are offensive, then certainly the county, city & river names - and state names - must also be offensive and should be changed. Massachusetts, the Dakotas, Utah - even New Mexico, ultimately named for the Mexica Indians - should be changed, along with cities like Cheyenne.
  • jacktown kid 2012/05/22 18:33:10
    No
    jacktown kid
    thats not good they are part of America's history
  • Nameless 2012/05/22 18:03:47
    Yes
    Nameless
    +1
    My great-great grandmother was Passamaquoddy Native American. It is offensive to me when people use the names of Native Americans to somehow portray a savageness. The Atlanta Braves fans who do the "tomahawk chop" are just plain ignorant. They don't understand that what they do is very hurtful to an entire group of people.
  • chaoski... Nameless 2012/05/22 19:04:41
    chaoskitty123
    +1
    Did that entire group of peoples decide this? Not all Native Americans oppose these things.

    So what next? Change the names of cities, counties and states whose names are derived from native origin?

    You have a point in that if the depictions are negative then they should be reconsidered and natives should be the ones pressing the case... not whites doing it for them as there's no difference as it's whites making the decision.

    What should be done is work with Natives who don't view this as insulting and include them in the schools activities teaching their history, their culture and let them come up with how the schools conduct themselves if it's to retain Native symbols or activities. Take advantage of the situation to spread native culture and to give them a say in how the schools conduct themselves.

    There was a case back in the 80's with a school here where natives came out raising hell because they thought the school was exploiting them... turned out everything was Celtic including the name, the mascots and so forth. But just because the natives saw Warriors with painted skin and heard chanting they assumed it was about them. Celtic peoples are very similar in culture and heritage and in this case, the Natives raising hell proved they were narrow minded and ignorant.

    If you dis...























    Did that entire group of peoples decide this? Not all Native Americans oppose these things.

    So what next? Change the names of cities, counties and states whose names are derived from native origin?

    You have a point in that if the depictions are negative then they should be reconsidered and natives should be the ones pressing the case... not whites doing it for them as there's no difference as it's whites making the decision.

    What should be done is work with Natives who don't view this as insulting and include them in the schools activities teaching their history, their culture and let them come up with how the schools conduct themselves if it's to retain Native symbols or activities. Take advantage of the situation to spread native culture and to give them a say in how the schools conduct themselves.

    There was a case back in the 80's with a school here where natives came out raising hell because they thought the school was exploiting them... turned out everything was Celtic including the name, the mascots and so forth. But just because the natives saw Warriors with painted skin and heard chanting they assumed it was about them. Celtic peoples are very similar in culture and heritage and in this case, the Natives raising hell proved they were narrow minded and ignorant.

    If you disapprove of what these schools do then you make the point that if they want to use anyones culture, use the history of white people for the school with Celtics, Vikings and other Barbarians... simple changes that could be made.

    But then, if these white people have native ancestry then they have a right to do this.

    In fact, when you see natives getting together to celebrate pride in themselves, most look like white people, dress like white people and everything about them is white mans culture which they refuse to abandon.

    Hell, you see natives arriving in a Boss Hog Cadillac wearing cowboy hats and clothing... what's native about that?

    You should be more insulted by your own people selling out their culture and heritage. If you want whites to stop exploiting your people... then you need to establish who and what your culture is because if your peoples embrace white mans culture and heritage, you have nothing left to preserve because it's your people selling out not whites making them do it today.

    Try making your people give up the white mans heritage as much as you try to stop whites from taking your heritage.

    Bet you can't as most natives in the past may have been forced to give things up but for the past 40 years they have had the freedom to embrace their culture and experience a revival... are they doing it or are they refusing?

    Honestly, I hear you Chaiah so please don't misunderstand. I am saying this cuts both ways and while you may be offended by things like the tomahawk chop with the Atlanta Braves... you should be just as hurt seeing native people with white mens names, white mens clothing, white mans culture and heritage choosing them over natives. The only thing about so many of your peoples today that is different from most whites is that whites with native ancestry live like whites but claim native heritage... natives choose to live like whites and claim native heritage no differently.

    I have native Cherokee ancestry but I don't claim to live like a native or claim their culture as there's more to it than claiming native heritage as you have to live native heritage to do this. In the same way, natives claiming to be natives must live like natives... they must embrace and live native heritage as it must be more than just having darker skin, they must live like natives or they are no different than I and millions of whites who have native heritage.

    I answered Yes like you Chaiah if you read my comment above. I do it with understanding that if they don't have to do it, then they can make a few changes like Braves being Celtic Braves rather than natives.

    But it must be natives themselves leading this charge and not whites deciding this because many natives don't mind this just as they do not live as native people... they actually enjoy participating and supporting sports franchises with native themes.

    This is something you and your peoples must decide for yourselves but you have to be fair and sane minded as you cannot condemn whites speaking of pride about their native heritage or doing things like this because they are part native... you cannot say they don't have a right when they are no different than most natives who live like white people, have white men's names and dress are as white as most white people.

    You have a problem on your end as well as if you want to claim whites are insulting your heritage, you must prove that you yourselves are not insulting your ancestral heritage by living like whites and abandoning your native heritage by choice rather than being forced to.
    (more)
  • Nameless chaoski... 2012/05/22 23:33:27
    Nameless
    +1
    You, apparently, are unable to read. Here, you can try, again. I said "It is offensive to me when people use the names of Native Americans to somehow portray a savageness. The Atlanta Braves fans who do the 'tomahawk chop' are just plain ignorant."
  • Michaelene 2012/05/22 17:47:29
    No
    Michaelene
    +1
    For some teams the images and names are a sense of pride for the region.

    The more laws against something, the less liberty we have to choose.
    Stop this nonsense.
  • Bill 2012/05/22 17:18:13
    Yes
    Bill
    +1
    I totally agree. How about a late EuroCaucasian as the new mascot. I have a suggestion (and it WON'T hurt my FEELINGS if it is on display at football games)...
    GenMascotCuster
  • shenendoah Bill 2012/05/23 02:41:31
    shenendoah
    Who would want that fool to represent their team. Sort of like using 'old hickory' as a team logo. We would have something to complain about then..
  • ☆ QueenAline 2012/05/22 17:15:54
  • ☆ Queen... ☆ Queen... 2012/05/22 17:17:17
    ☆ QueenAline
    I hope they are prepared to fight it
  • Ron in ... ☆ Queen... 2012/05/22 21:14:38
    Ron in Oregon
    Nope
  • Tasine 2012/05/22 17:07:52
    No
    Tasine
    +1
    No, they should not! What they should discontinue ALL mascot foolishness. Every team has a symbol, and a symbol is usually designed to denote bravery, fierceness, stamina, strength. Ergo, there is nothing negative about having ANY responsible symbol, but the mascot thing is out of hand and sports would do well to eliminate all mascot activity. An Indian who finds offense at being a mascot, or a symbol should have his head examined for holes. His brains have leaked out.
  • Mark Mercer 2012/05/22 17:04:06
    No
    Mark Mercer
    +1
    But I really enjoyed the Native American team that called themselves the 'White Guys'...
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/05/22 16:39:14
    No
    Margaret Jacobson
    +2
    ask an indian what he/she thinks ??
  • big T 2012/05/22 16:27:46
    No
    big T
    +1
    I am very [rpud my peop[le are on there. those that want to remove that are begots and racialy motivated. I think they shuold be more worried about fixing the economy rather then wasting money and time of this issue to remove Native American Mascots.
  • ☆ Queen... big T 2012/05/22 17:16:49
    ☆ QueenAline
    absolutely
  • big T ☆ Queen... 2012/05/22 17:30:01
    big T
    I am part blackfoot the rest is european.
  • 10sgirl 2012/05/22 15:20:22
    No
    10sgirl
    Wouldn't it definitely be almost a compliment in most cases because it would show they want to be stron or brave like a Indian? I'm not sure... It just seems if Indians are stereotyping then so are different kinds of mascots.
  • merlinskiss 2012/05/22 14:51:34
    No
    merlinskiss
    +1
    The amount of rampant stupidity over non issues never ceases to amaze me. Who cares if a team calls itself chiefs or indians? Maybe we should ban Trojan as a team name because it might promote birth control.
  • AnonRanGER 2012/05/22 13:11:09 (edited)
    No
    AnonRanGER
    +3
    Wtf? They are HONORING Native Americans. I mean, look at the picture... "HOME OF THE BRAVES". WTF is supposed to be discriminating about that? I find it more discriminating that the board prevents stuff like that. No cheering or funding for teams that have a Native American theme! Rename the team "Aryans" and have the head of a blonde, blue eyed white guy as the masquot, maybe they like that better.

    Did any actual native Americans complain about this?

    And how about the outrage concerning these?

    blue eyed white guy masquot actual native americans complain outrage

    blue eyed white guy masquot actual native americans complain outrage

    blue eyed white guy masquot actual native americans complain outrage

    Crusaders, Beer, Fighting Cardinals, Vikings, Devils... they're a-ok, but "Braves" with the image of a cherokee? Can't have that, apparently.
  • Bill AnonRanGER 2012/05/22 17:21:28
    Bill
    Aryans. I like that since I am European Caucasian Germanic American. Put up a poster of me. I don't mind.
  • Dawn AnonRanGER 2012/05/22 20:59:53
    Dawn
    +1
    Whoa there's a Crusader and Fighting Cardinals mascot? Well I guess it's fair but still human mascots are just weird. Also the mascot isn't Cherokee it's a Mohawk native American. That's why that hairstyle is called a mohawk :)
  • AnonRanGER Dawn 2012/05/22 21:25:13
    AnonRanGER
    Oops, my bad. Mohawks are called "Irokesen" ("Eerokaysen") in German, which resembles "Cherokee" more than "Mohawk". I guess I just wasn't thinking. ^^'
    But ZOMG that hairstyle must be renamed or banned because it is clearly discriminating against American Natives! EVERYBODY PANIC!
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