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Not all Indian likenesses are racist
Leader Telegram ^ | 3-4-09

Posted on 03/03/2009 4:40:07 PM PST by SJackson

The issue: A proposal to give the state school superintendent the authority to ban Indian nicknames and logos in schools.

Our view: Education and dialogue are working; local school districts don't need an edict.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the saying goes.

To some degree the same applies to racism.

The issue is the long-standing debate over whether American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots are racist. State Rep. Jim Soletski, D-Green Bay, apparently believes so, and he has proposed a bill to make the state superintendent of public instruction judge and jury with the power to fine school districts he or she determines have offending Indian monikers. The bill calls for fines of up to $1,000 a day for violators, a substantial incentive for districts to conform.

"It's 2009. It's time we put this behind us," Soletski told The Associated Press. "It's the Native Americans' heritage, first and foremost. If they're not feeling honored, then it's time to get rid of it."

Through the years the dialogue this issue has created has been instructive. Did anyone look more ill at ease than former President Carter doing the "Tomahawk Chop" at an Atlanta Braves playoff game some years back?

This discussion has enlightened everyone that, for example, Indian headdresses have spiritual significance. Same with tribal dance. It stands to reason many Indians wouldn't be thrilled to have their children attend a school where fans "whoop" it up while somebody from the pep squad imitates an Indian "warrior" in full costume stomping around to inspire the crowd.

Fortunately, these types of scenes have pretty much disappeared from Wisconsin gymnasiums and football fields. Once folks understood this was as offensive to Indians as someone dressing up as a priest swinging a rosary around would be to Catholics, it came to a halt.

But to say any use of Indian nicknames or logos is racist on its face because someone says so is quite a leap. Menomonie High School is familiar with this debate. Its logo - Menomonie doesn't have a mascot - depicts an Indian in a full-feathered headdress encircled by the words "honor, dignity, strength and pride." The majority in Menomonie apparently do not believe this depiction is racist - to the contrary they see it as a sign of respect. They deeply resent a bureaucrat in Madison, a lawmaker in Green Bay or others who know nothing about them suggesting they are racists.

The easy solution is for school districts to pick some nonhuman symbol for their nicknames and logos and be done with it. But some resist, maybe in part because they don't take kindly to threats or being labeled racists if they don't cave.

In South Dakota, at the behest of Indian leaders, work began more than 60 years ago to carve a likeness of Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse into the side of a mountain to honor him and all Indian people. Some apparently feel that Indians can honor Crazy Horse with such a likeness, but white folks shouldn't honor Indians in such a way because it's not their place to do it, even if they do so with respect.

As much as we hate labels, doesn't that seem a little racist?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: americanindian; dotorfeather; mascot; racism

1 posted on 03/03/2009 4:40:07 PM PST by SJackson
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To: Iowa Granny; Ladysmith; Diana in Wisconsin; JLO; sergeantdave; damncat; phantomworker; joesnuffy; ..
If you'd like to be on or off this Upper Midwest/outdoors/rural list please FR mail me. And ping me is you see articles of interest.

True, not all Indian likenesses are racist. Probably most. But in difficult economic times the state should be able to fine local school districts $1,000 a day if they want. As long as the federal government will replenish the locals funds.

2 posted on 03/03/2009 4:41:28 PM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SJackson

Florida State University has the Seminoles football team. The NCAA told them to get a new name until the real Seminole tribe intervened and said they like it just the way it is

The Seminoles have casinos so Seminole football is free advertising-— free name penetration


3 posted on 03/03/2009 4:47:55 PM PST by dennisw (Archimedes--- Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth)
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To: SJackson
In Wichita KS we have a HS North High and the mascot is the North High Red Skins. The HS is next to the Arkansas river which has a bridge over it by the school that has art deco Indian images on it.

At one time the powers to be at the school tried to become PC about the whole thing and take the NH Red Skins away and the alumni consisting of various racial origins said no.

The native American Indians of the area said that it was a show of honor for the mascots and that the Indians use to camp at that site where the school is now.

So not all people are against the use of human mascots to identify their schools with.

4 posted on 03/03/2009 4:52:56 PM PST by guitarplayer1953 (Psalm 83:1-8 is on the horizon.)
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To: SJackson
I am Indian and here is my two cents. In my home town the high schools emblem is a Warrior with a war bonnet. Some have tried to make them change it many times over the last several years but the students and the school and in fact the local people of that area keep voting to keep it as it is. And that includes the local Indian tribe too.

Now all we need is horse's asses politicians to shove their agenda down our throats. Wake up America, it's Liberal Democrats that are taking over all our rights and freedoms.

5 posted on 03/03/2009 4:53:43 PM PST by fish hawk (Atheism is a non-prophet organization)
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To: SJackson
Not all Indian likenesses are racist

I agree. We'll need some costumes

6 posted on 03/03/2009 4:53:57 PM PST by ari-freedom (Hail to the Dork!)
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To: dennisw
There's a mostly Eastern European crowd in Wisconsin who'd like to obliterate all knowledge that the state actually has Indians ~ real ones ~ in reservations ~ off reservations ~ walking around ~ running casinos ~ doing stuff.

It's really strange.

Kind of like forcing all those Eastern Europeans to add vowels to their names while shortening them to no more than 5 syllables.

7 posted on 03/03/2009 4:55:05 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: dennisw

Not long after the University of Illinois got rid of Chief Illiniwek, a friend commented, correctly, that within a few years no U of I students will have a clue that someone lived here before the Daleys arrived.


8 posted on 03/03/2009 4:57:16 PM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SJackson

Only leftist nitwits can think that human sports mascots are a dishonor. With the exception of a few oddities usually tied to local history (the OU Sooners, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Washburn Icabods spring readily to mind sitting here in Kansas) human mascots are usually chosen as a tribute to martial virtue (often martial virtue in a loosing cause):

The Minnesota Vikings and lots of small college and high school teams named the ‘Vikings’ in areas settled by Scandinavians, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, and (one of may favorites) the Yeshiva University Maccabees are all examples of this where folks of the same ethnicity chose to honor their warlike forebearers in this way. The USC Trojans, teams named the Cavaliers, or the Knights, or the Crusaders, just as the Braves, Chiefs, Seminoles, and the like do not dishonor those who fought under that name long-ago.

Only leftist loons who do not understand the concept of martial virtue seem to think so, and I would submit they should be resisted when in power, and devoutly ignored when just making noise about the issue.


9 posted on 03/03/2009 5:10:33 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: SJackson

“State Rep. Jim Soletski, D-Green Bay”

Maybe we can raise a statue of Poles grinding a Nazi face, that looks like Soletski, into the dirt. Of course, that would fly completely over the head of this little fascist puke Soletski. I like my Anishnabe Indian friends. He wouldn’t know the difference between a medicine lodge (midiwin) and a whore who soaps him up in the shower.


10 posted on 03/03/2009 5:18:23 PM PST by sergeantdave (obuma is the anti-Lincoln, trying to re-establish slavery)
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To: SJackson

11 posted on 03/03/2009 5:20:26 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: SJackson

Well, we called them “braves” and “warriors”.
Noble savages, so to speak.
All honorable designations.

But I guess we were wrong, because seems they are more of the whining, wuss, wimp type.


12 posted on 03/03/2009 5:21:27 PM PST by djf (I saw a werewolf drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic's... and his hair was PERFECT!!)
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To: SJackson
I think that every time there is a complaint, the local school should rename the team after a European people or tribe, e.g. Saxons, Vikings, Trojans, Spartans, Centurions, Templars, Normans, Picts, Celts, Franks, etc. An occasional Minutemen or Pioneers would also be good.

I wonder how long it would be until their were complaints that all the school mascots were European.

13 posted on 03/03/2009 5:22:51 PM PST by SampleMan (Socialism and Liberty are mutually exclusive.)
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To: fish hawk

14 posted on 03/03/2009 5:23:11 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: SampleMan

Want some attention, go with Crusaders.


15 posted on 03/03/2009 5:26:18 PM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SJackson
And look who they let take over the state? A Serbian gypsy named Blagoyevich ~ unpronouncable syllables, and definitely a vowel shortage.

It's a conspiracy I tell you, a dadgum conspiracy against the Indians!

16 posted on 03/03/2009 5:27:56 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: SJackson

Many of the Indian warriors were outstandingly brave. They faced incredible odds as they defended their homelands against an enemy they couldn’t understand.

Almost without exception they fiercely fought the enemy, often giving their very lives in a hopeless battle, yet they fought on.

These are not the kind of people Liberals want remembered, in fact, they want to erase any and every thought that such bravery even once existed. Liberals hate the idea of bravery nearly as much as they hate a capitalist America.

To remember a brave Indian is to inspire others to live and act with bravery.

That’s why every vestige of brave Indians must be removed from our very memories. Indians are to be remembered as nothing more than drunken bums, victims of white, capitalist Americans, dependent on government for their very livelihood.


17 posted on 03/03/2009 5:31:23 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If Liberals would pay their taxes, there would be no deficit..)
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To: djf

You’ve been hanging around the wrong crowd. Me and several of my cousins have gone through the military. Thats not indicative of being wimps and whiners. We work and are responsible adults.
Don’t let the bad apples give you the wrong impression.


18 posted on 03/03/2009 5:36:10 PM PST by Redcitizen (The Death Star is the ultimate in peacekeeping.)
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To: SJackson

We had a Navy squadron called the Clansmen. That got even more attention.


19 posted on 03/03/2009 5:37:27 PM PST by SampleMan (Socialism and Liberty are mutually exclusive.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
There's this distant/notsodistant cousin of mine, and Obama for that matter, named Buckey Phillips who demonstrated not long ago that real Indians still exist.

Although he doesn't quite "fit" in the 21st century, he nearly succeeded in escaping from one of the largest manhunts in history, and evaded nearly the entire New York State Police force.

He was eventually caught by the Pennsylvania State Police when he surrendered. Friends believed he gave up only because he ran out of weapons.

He'd left them behind when he had to bail out of a moving automobile to evade police capture.

For a while he was a folkhero in the area. In reality he has some problems with authority, but he's definitely a tough cookie. Back in the day his people RAN most of the East Coast of North America. They earned that position after having been slaves to the Huron for many centuries.

Come the next Ice Age folks will think it good to have men like him around. For the moment, it's a GW civilization and this guy has to be locked up.

20 posted on 03/03/2009 5:43:10 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: SampleMan

I am glad it was spelled with a C and not a K.


21 posted on 03/03/2009 5:48:40 PM PST by rogator
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To: Redcitizen

In fact I agree with you.

It is the “squeaky wheel” minority here that’s getting all the hoopla.

I just think it’s time for everyone - all of us - to get over this ridiculous fascination with the whole “victim” status thing. It’s played out already.

Years from now, say a century or so, they will look back on our time and say there was hardly a spine amongst the whole damn bunch of us.


22 posted on 03/03/2009 5:51:09 PM PST by djf (I saw a werewolf drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic's... and his hair was PERFECT!!)
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To: SJackson

Sure is good to know that all other challenges in WI have been solved so the legislators have time to issue edicts like this.


23 posted on 03/03/2009 6:08:53 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: SJackson

Fighting Illini is still their name


24 posted on 03/03/2009 6:13:34 PM PST by dennisw (Archimedes--- Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth)
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To: SJackson

I used to make beaded jewelry and wear it around. Then I started getting glared at or yelled at, and called a racist because the pattern I thought was “neat looking” happened to belong to this culture or that culture. I’d learned as a kid that for some reason I wasn’t allowed to wear certain styles, no matter how pretty I thought they were because somebody was always insulted by what I wore. Heck, I started wearing all one color (black) so hopefully no one would be offended, and people still yell at me for THAT.

White people aren’t allowed to be ethnic. Which is too bad, because I think there are some gorgeous things out there. I’m not trying to insult anyone, I’m not trying to lay claim to someone else’s culture, I just like pretty things.


25 posted on 03/03/2009 7:30:27 PM PST by Ellendra (Can't starve us out, and you can't make us run...Country folks CAN survive!!! -Hank Jr.)
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To: dennisw
And my bright ORANGE starter jacket with the Chief logo on the back is always appreciated when I wear it. I alternate that with the Blackhawk jacket (another huge logo on the back) just for a little variety.

Illinois is an Indian word. Chicago is an Indian word. When I lived in Seattle (a variation of Chief Sealth's name) and the locals would complain about the Indian logos I wore there too, I would always have to remind them that I was born in a state with an Indian name, not a state named after a slaveowner. That always separated the people who knew history from the people who have it explained to them.

While we live in Seattle, my daughter (about 12 at the time, picked out a Washington Redskins shirt, because the color scheme was pretty cool and the store didn't have one in her size. That got the locals excited, too. I helps to have a sense of humor.

26 posted on 03/03/2009 7:48:18 PM PST by Bernard (If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember exactly what you said.)
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To: SJackson

BTW when you hear somebody talking about “Native Americans”, you know he’s a politically correct BS-er.

A quick glance at any of their campaign ads for casinos shows that they refer to themselves as Indians in the “Paid for by...” text at the end of the ad.

And that’s the rule not the exception. As one personally explained to me some time ago, if Russia had taken over the USA in WW3 and renamed it West Russia, would you happily start calling yourself a “Native West Russian”?


27 posted on 03/03/2009 7:57:51 PM PST by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Ellendra
Your creativity should not have been questioned or seen as anything else except that which it was.

You were not copying anything, just making designs that pleased you.

Those that were offended because they thought they had a copyright or patent on the designs you made should have been more mature than they were and appreciated what you had made.

They could have sat down with you and explained that their ancestors made similar patterns.

They should have been honored that the spirits of their ancestors chose you to let them see the beauty of the creations channeled through you. (Ok I made the “spirit” stuff up, but maybe they could have seen it that way.)

I know a very wise old Indian that I am sure would have had no problem with what you did.

Years ago I needed some shoes and had some leather so I made some sandals.

I created the design to be functional and durable, and such that they would stay on my feet securely

Some time later I was on the coast of California and ran into an old leather-worker.

I showed her the sandals that I had designed and made and she told me that it was a classic design from the Greeks many centuries ago.

She also told me that every sandal style had been made and that no new ones could be created using the same materials available years ago.

28 posted on 03/03/2009 8:19:10 PM PST by Syncro (Play by the rules and you're gonna miss all the fun--Jacky Don Tucker (Toby Keith)
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To: SJackson
..."It's the Native Americans' heritage, first and foremost. If they're not feeling honored,..."

....Then Tough $h|+. Grow a thicker skin. Americans are tired of your nonsense. Maybe in your next life your people will be victorious, instead of vanquished.

29 posted on 03/04/2009 8:25:36 AM PST by I Buried My Guns
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To: I Buried My Guns
....Then Tough $h|+. Grow a thicker skin. Americans are tired of your nonsense. Maybe in your next life your people will be victorious, instead of vanquished.

In fairness, frequently it's not Native Americans complaining, in fact they're often on the other side.

30 posted on 03/04/2009 8:41:23 AM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SampleMan
We had a Navy squadron called the Clansmen. That got even more attention.

I can believe that.

31 posted on 03/04/2009 8:47:06 AM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SJackson
True dat.

It's the liberal rabblerousers that are the source of this unending and perennial conflict. I just get mad when my tolerance level of crybaby-ism has been reached. I strongly believe that if folks complained less and controlled their lives more, there would be less crime, less sadness, and more personal freedom in this great country.

32 posted on 03/04/2009 8:48:44 AM PST by I Buried My Guns
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