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Friday, October 7, 2022

Indians Have the Right To Protest Using Their Names As Mascots In Sports

By Arline PerchSpecial to CSMSThe controversy surrounding the use of “Indians, “ mascots in sports (e.g., Chief Wahoo for the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves and their “hatchet chop”, the Washington Redskins,) have been written in the news many times before.  Every controversy has two sides and both usually think they are right.I read the articles featured Lustig “Among Us”. I have mixed emotion on the subject of using Indians as a mascot. I have tried to see both sides. I am part Indian and have always been very proud to say my ancestors were Indians.My family has benefited from our heritage. Our children can go to college free, in our home state of Missiouri.  I am not offended by the use of Mascots, but I’m also part Irish and not offended when they call a football team The “Fighting Irish”.I understand that prejudice starts with giving negative attitudes toward other people that are based on faulty and inflexible stereotypes. So in that definition I understand the concerns about using Indians as a Mascot.The articles in “Among Us” generally say Indians need to get a life and get over it.  I think if Movie stars and the Muppets get to decide who uses their pictures on T-shirts and other memorabilia, Indians should at least be asked how they feel.The tribes have a government and council that address issues concerning their people.  The Indians should be shown enough respect that the issue of using the symbol of an Indian as a mascot is taken seriously.  The symbol of their ancestors should be theirs to decide how it is used. I think Americans have the impression that Indians don’t really care about this issue. I took the time to ask some of my cousins, who aren’t part Irish, how they felt. They said that people have been ignoring them so long it has become acceptable. I don’t think any form of prejudice or ignorance is acceptable and I hope most Americans feel the same way.Sharline Perch is Native American. She lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. She wrote this piece in response to yesterday’s article titled “The Mascot Debate Continues” You can also send your comments regarding this pertinent issue.

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