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American Indians vs Sports Mascots

Considering I am going to college online and I have to write essays for my history class, I figured I would post the essay that I just got finished with. It has not been graded yet and I am sure that it probably sucks considering I suck as a writer. It is about the ongoing battle between the American Indians and sports mascots.

 

“The American Indian community for over 50 years has worked to banish images and names like Cleveland’s chief wahoo, Washington redskins, Kansas City chiefs, Atlanta braves”.1 The American Indians may not be fighting bloody battles in the name of peace or their homeland, but they are still in a battle none the less. They are battling an assault of insults on their Native peoples. This assault comes by the way of using Indian names and likeness as sport team mascots. I feel their complaints are legit considering it is their race and culture that is being portrayed in a way they feel is wrong. Who am I to say they are wrong about this? It is not my people who are being put on display here and paraded in the public’s eye. The sports teams are wrong and they need to respect the wishes of the American Indians. The Indians have lost many battles that were raged against them. It is time we started to respect their heritage and culture.

There have been many instances where the media has portrayed Indians in a negative way. These ways were meant to encourage the sports teams with Indian names, but they never took into consideration the image that they have portrayed against the Indians. One year New York played against Cleveland and the New York Post put “Take the Tribe and Scalp ‘Em”2 as the headline. This was never meant to be taken as an insult, but so many Indians took it that way. Can you imagine how you would have felt after reading such a headline? I would have been a little insulted myself. This type of behavior is one of the reasons that the American Indians get so offended when mascots are named after them. They are misrepresented in so many ways. Back in 2002 American Indians from the University of Wisconsin-Madison protested the University of Illinois for the use of Indian mascots. “The Madison Indian community has deep concerns about the offensive caricatures of Native peoples in popular culture, particularly within the nation’s educational system”.3 The battle to change how the public views American Indians is a hard one to win unless they can get the image that the sports teams create done away with. This is a hard battle that still rages one.

Even though the battle still rages on, there have been some notable upsets on the American Indian side, such as the case with the Washington Redskins. Resolution 14-262 was passed on November 6, 2001 to change
the team name because it was offensive and hurtful. Unfortunately for the Native Indians, the US Supreme court ruled against them. “The action lets stand a decision by a federal appeals court in Washington that the native Americans had waited too long to bring their challenge to the Redskins trademark, and thus forfeited any right to sue”.4 This was a major blow to the Indian community. A loss that will not bring them down; only motivate them to continue their fight for justice.

Not all outcomes of these battles are unfavorable towards the American Indians. Take Wisconsin for example, they initiated an “End of Native American Mascots in School”. “The law, the first of its kind in the country,
allows the public to file complaints against race-based mascots and the like with school districts”.5 Ever since this law has been in effect there have been a few schools that have dropped their Indian mascots or symbols. Take a school district in Green Bay for example, “On Oct. 8, the Kewaunee School District in the Green Bay area dropped the name “Indians” after a retired teacher named Marsha Beggs Brown complained about the moniker used by the district since 1936”.6 They changed their new name to Storm. There have been about 30 school districts in Wisconsin who have changed their school mascots or symbols due to this law. Even though the American Indian community is not winning them all, they are least winning a few.

As you can see the battle still rages on. The American Indians have been battling this injustice that has been bestowed upon their heritage and community for over 50 years. I foresee this battle lasting even longer. They will not win them all, but at least they will be victorious in some. Only if we could all see it the way they see then we would know how it feels; we would know their pain; we would understand their suffering. The Supreme Court
may not agree with the American Indians, but at least Wisconsin does.

Notes

1. Teters, Charlene. “AMERICAN INDIANS ARE PEOPLE, NOT MASCOTS” (National
Coalition on Sports and Racism
).

2. Teters, Charlene. “AMERICAN INDIANS ARE PEOPLE, NOT MASCOTS” (National
Coalition on Sports and Racism
).

3. Bird Bear, Aaron. “American Indians Protest Illinois Mascot” (NAIIP News
Path,
2002),

4. Richey, Warren. “Washington Redskins can keep team name;
Supreme Court refuses native Americans’ suit” (The Christian Science Monitor,
2009).

5. Nittle, Nadra Kareem. “Wisconsin Law Initiates End of
Native American Mascots in Schools” (Change.org, 2010).

6. Nittle, Nadra Kareem. “Wisconsin Law Initiates End of
Native American Mascots in Schools” (Change.org, 2010).

Bibliography

Teters, Charlene. “AMERICAN INDIANS ARE PEOPLE, NOT MASCOTS”, National Coalition on Sports and Racism. http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm/.

Bird Bear, Aaron. “American Indians Protest Illinois Mascot”, NAIIP News Path. (2002), http://www.thepeoplespaths.net/News2002/0203/BirdBear020318Protest-ILmascot.htm.

Richey, Warren. “Washington Redskins can keep team name; Supreme Court refuses native Americans’ suit”, The Christian Science Monitor. (2009), http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2009/1116/p02s07-usju.html.

Nittle, Nadra Kareem. “Wisconsin Law Initiates End of Native American Mascots in Schools”, Change.org.(2010), http://news.change.org/stories/wisconsin-law-initiates-end-of-native-american-mascots-in-schools.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Memories of the Past

Have you ever for a second caught  a whiff of a very familiar yet faint smell that triggered an inner memory of a distant past; a past that you cannot identify? As I sit here on my front porch in my rocking chair, I was reminded of a past that I cannot put my finger on. I do not know of when or where my mind was carrying me, but for what seemed like an eternity my mind was elsewhere.

I enjoy those feelings of the past until the moment that I realize I have no clue of what past place or time that I was brought back to. I rack my brain over and over again trying to figure out where I remember the smell from that triggered this feeling. It had to be a place in time where I was happy and enjoying myself. Sometimes I can remember, but for the most part I cannot recall.

The sad part is that when I snap back to reality I am left with an empty feeling; a feeling of loneliness and despair. I am unsure of why I cannot shake it most of the time. Maybe it is my supressed memories coming through to an extent of triggering these, but not enough for me to recollect the exact time and location for the most part. Maybe it is just psychological.

Does anyone else have these feelings and how do they make you feel?

-Frawg

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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I swear I was just hiking!

Okay. There is something that I do not understand and I wish someone could help shed the light on it for me. Why in the world would anyone want to go HIKING in a hostile area or any area that we have any type of conflict with?? Here in the last few years or so there have been numerous Americans imprisoned by other countries for “espionage” because they were hiking in an area they shouldn’t be in. Is there no more common sense nowadays?

Two gentlemen were captured on the Iraq/Iranian border while hiking. They were both sentence to 8 years in prison for espionage. I am sure that everyone is going to get in an uproar over this because all they were doing is “hiking”. What everyone forgets is the fact that they were hiking in another country!! If you do not want to get arrested and sentenced to prison over “false allegations” then I would suggest not hiking in another country; especially a country like Iraq or Iran!!!

This leads me to all the other idiotic things that people do such as sailing off the coast of Africa knowing that they are in pirate territory. They go at their own risk and disregard all warnings and common sense! Then once something bad happens they want the U.S. to come to their rescue. I say hell no! You knew better than to go hiking or even sailing in a place that is too risky yet you still go?! You went knowing the risk and consequence and I say you pay for it. Maybe then people will start getting the hint.

Before anyone starts complaining that it is wrong, all I have to say is remember that it may be wrong here or we may think it, but you are not here. They do not play by the same rules as we do and they can charge anyone for anything. It is their country and their rules. Always remember that when you leave this country you are no longer on our terms; you are on theirs…..

Does anyone else feel the same way I do and if not, why?

-Frawg

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Rude Neighbors

You would figure that once you moved into a neighbourhood and have established yourself there for over a year that everyone would know you by now. Unfortunately this is not the case with me and a few of my fellow neighbors.

I am on the end of a cul-de-sac and I know everyone on my cul-de-sac and almost everyone in the neighborhood. Who I do not know is the people who live in the house on the other side of the woods on the left of us. After tonight I am sure I do not want to get to know them now..

It started off with me going outside and noticing a “private property” sign posted at the end of my property. There was some wood there also. So I obviously went to investigate just to be sure that the sign and wood was not on my property. I turned out that the sign wasn’t, but the wood and “trash” was! The I looked to my right down my neighbors property and saw all kinds of trash in their yard. This did not sit well with me and I wanted to ensure that it wasn’t theirs.

I asked my next door neighbors about the trash and informed them of the sigh and wood. They had no idea what I was talking about so I took them out to see. Needless to say they were a little perturbed about the trash on their property along with the wood (which was on their side also). We proceeded to throw the wood back into the woods once we figured out that is where it came from!!

Our other neighbor came out and informed us that he saw a white truck driving through our yards and yelled at them to get off the property. He did not see them throw the wood or trash out, but was sure it was them. They live on the other side of the woods within ear shot.

As we sat there and talked about what was going on I heard twigs breaking. I looked behind me and seen two guys (one in his 50’s and the other in his 20’s) on all fours trying to sneak up to the edge of the woods to spy on our conversation!! It isn’t hard to spot you when you make so much noise and wearing clothing that does not blend in!! We confronted them, but they just stayed there still as a stone imagining that we couldn’t see them even though we are telling them we see you.

Needless to say I foresee us having some really serious issues with these neighbors from the other side. Issues I really don’t want, but I am willing to go to war if need be. How hard is it to just not throw your trash on other people’s property??

 

What do ya’ll think?

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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