Mascots (Triple Participation)

Published October 14, 2014 by djlwsu

Before class today, how did you feel about Native American mascots?  Upon class discussions about stereotypes, looking at my t-shirt, and watching this two clips, has your opinion changed?  Why or white not?  How does your understanding about the meaning and issues surrounding stereotypes and racism shape your reaction to mascots?

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21 comments on “Mascots (Triple Participation)

  • Before class today I had never really thought about Native American mascots being a harsh stereotype that may negatively impact others. It just seemed like a normal thing. After seeing the clips and hearing ideas in class, I feel like using Native American mascots is wrong and “impairs” disables” and “disenfranchises” the all so very real Native American population. Even if the University of Illinois had a mascot that was a cartoon character rather than a more realistic Native American it would still be dehumanizing. It is not honoring anyone nor is it a compliment. As far as the Washington DC football team goes their name is directly related to “proof of Indian kill.” How can such a large number of fans support a name so culturally sensitive? Those people have been surrounded by imagery so much that they have become numb to the idea of it being racist. Losing the redskins mascot would be nothing like losing a family member. It would just be another change in an ever changing football team. It is the 21st century and being sensitive to all populations is necessary to avoid conflict.

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  • Yes my opinion changed because at first I didn’t think mascots were any types of stereotypes or showed any racism. I understand how it can be racist because most mascots are animals but having a Native American, as a mascot is racist to their people and insulting. Most people wouldn’t think about it like that though they just see it as something that represents a school. These are many issues that go unnoticed and this is one of them. Mascots shouldn’t be anyone’s ethnicity it’s disrespectful because Native Americans were one of the first ones here and it’s like treating someone’s culture as a joke. My reaction to mascots has changed because they are offending others and are still doing it. It mocks how they look and their I believe that Native American mascots should be banned because it can be offense to their people or represent them in the wrong way.

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  • Prior to class I had not thought much or often about the impact that mascots may have on a specific group of people. I had heard many things and kept watch on the arguments with keeping the mascot name for Washington the Redskins. At the current time I didn’t think it was a very negative thing. Although I believe that the change to a different mascot would create less tension among groups I believe it largely based on how you look at it and take it into context. After class and learning more about it though I believe it is something that is unnecessary in today’s day and age. Specifically because Indian tribes are the single groups of people that are used as a possible team/school mascot. The real question behind this topic is why do people want/do this?

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  • Before our class today, I had never really thought of the Native American mascots to be offensive. Growing up, my highschool’s mascot was the Braves, and we were encouraged by the local indian tribe (Cherokee) to keep the name as long as we didn’t advertise an indian mascot. This experience in highschool has really clouded my view of how offensive these mascots really are. My opinion on this has changed, especially after class today, with your shirt and the example of the Cleveland indian’s mascot with different stereotypes on there such as “Jews”, and “Blacks”. After watching these two clips, I have also had my eyes opened to how offensive an actual mascot can be for indian americans. For example the University of Illinois mascot “chief illiniwek” was very offensive to the woman in the clip because she felt that the mascot’s image was a mockery of indians at a sporting event. It was “Not a character or an image”. Another example that has made me change my opinion of american indian mascots is the redskins term. In Jon Steward’s clip, the owner of the redskins, Daniel Snyder, said that the “redskins name really means honor”. However, the reaction of the American Indian Activists was that “it (the name) meant proof of indian kill”. They believed the name to be extremely offensive. Therefore, I feel the need to base my opinion on the way this subject of offensive names makes those who are actually American Indian (not 1/10 American Indian) feel. This opinion is obviously that they do not appreciate it and that these names should be changed.

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  • Before class today I never really considered the harm in mascots regarding a race. I always thought it was a little weird to have a race group as a mascot but didn’t see it as harmful. After class today I realized the it flattens a racial group to just a mascot. For me it changed a lot when you showed the image of an African American themed mascot and a Caucasian mascot. I think I have been kind of numbed to the whole Indian mascot thing because I have seen it all throughout my childhood. I don’t believe any racial group should be diminished to a mascot. When thinking of Indian mascot themed teams I really only considered the Washington Redskins, after class today I realized how many teams have adopted a racial based mascot relating back to Native Americans. As a kid I never really connected the braves as harming or diminishing a racial group but can see clearly now that it is near if not the same as the Redskins.

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  • Before class my view of Native American mascots was in support of their disappearance. I also have closely tied feelings about racism and Native Americans. Those feelings were of empathy, confusions, and some anger. When looking at the history the trail of tears and many other events they are horrific. And it is on the foundation of genocide that we exist here today. In class the Cleveland Indian’s discussion made me wonder if the owners of these teams had affiliations with the native community. Some light research and the answer is no, yet claims of “it’s to honor them” seem to be the opposite view natives hold .Your shirt was actually quite comical. This is so because the shirt has no negative affect. There is no history to symbolize your shirt any deeper than its face value.
    In the video Charlene Teters says “I was doing that for my kids” when referring to her hold a sign in protest of the mascot, which I find a strong statement. She realizes that this action of dehumanizing people will have an effect on the generation to come. I would argue that having Native American mascots is a stereotype threat in the way that it sends a message to Native Americans that you are somebody we can pretend to be you are for show and for games. Next a school official says “to me it’s a compliment” this statement has the notions of white privilege. Some of the ignorance in the video from people I can’t comment on without giving a history lesson. This also raises a question was the University of Illinois ever intertwined with laws that made it an all-white college? The next video is shocking; The CAPITAL of the United States is represented by a racial slur. What is also not quite mentioned but occurs is the facts that players as a group are called a tribe and each one is individually called a chief or and Indian which in fact they are not. All in all the fans in the interview say that they would still route for the team…so what’s the issue other than holding onto offensive culture.

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  • Prior to class today I had thought about Native American mascots many times, my high schools mascot was the Braves and our emblem was at one the same as the Cleveland Indians. In my hometown it seemed like the present native culture actually got behind the mascot and embraced it. During a basketball game a white student wore a headdress in the student section, he was told to take it off and then a tribal member who volunteers at the school went over into the student section and wore the headdress while cheering on our team. In a none local situation I can see how it is an issue nationally. The teams seem to be treated in decent and people act like the people are dead and no more. Movies portray the people as savages and even child movies that we grew up watching showed this side of Native Americans. My opinion has changed about the national aspect upon looking at the Indians logo side by side with the “Caucasians” logo.

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  • Preceding class today I never really had put much thought or had a big input with regards towards Native American mascots, it’s never been something brought up frequently besides the recent dispute about changing the Washington Redskins mascot. After our lecture today in class and putting some thought into Native American mascots I realize that I should have been much more aware of what really was happening here. My opinion that I have formed is that Native American mascots is very improper and demeaning towards Native Americans and I would be extremely upset with schools using my ethnicity as a mascot. I find it to be very disrespectful and offending towards their culture and beliefs. I believe the use of Native American mascots or any other ethnicity such as the Utah Utes should be banned from sports use as it’s simply hurtful and not necessary.

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  • before class today I didn’t care about native Americans mascots because i really didn’t understand how offensive it is the native american people.form in class and watching these videos and see your shirt i changed my view because just see your shirt offed me in which then had me think of actually how offensive these mascots are to the native people.also Webster describes it as offensive and the term should be avoided.my understanding of the issues surrounding stereotypes and racism creates a hole new reaction to the issues with the mascot because it provides a more in depth view of how it harm and is disrespectful to the native american population

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  • Before class I didn’t think anything of mascots, I just looked at them as pictures or symbols of bravery. Now, on the other hand, I see that some of the mascots aren’t symbolizing bravery in the way I thought they did. The indian mascot for example stereotypes the Indians violent acts at war. The fight song that talks about scalping their opponents to gain a win is in a way brave but mostly just cruel and over the top. The fight song, in and unintentional way to pride their school, stereotypes Indians for being violent and ruthless.

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  • Prior to class yesterday, I didn’t believe Native American mascots were very offensive to Natives and I was under the belief that a team like the Redskins in the NFL should keep their team name and mascot. Then again, I also didn’t understand how insensitive and offensive some of these mascots and team names really are. Some people claim that these team names “honor” or “compliment” Native Americans, but after class and watching these two videos, I don’t buy that theory anymore. The team name “Redskins” is the most blatantly offensive team name of them all. The name itself is a racial slur, meaning “proof of Indian kill”, according to 2nd video clip. There is no way this is honoring Native Americans, instead it is insulting them. Saying that the name simply represents a school or a team is not an excuse to offend a whole race. Keeping a team name just because that’s the way it has been for years isn’t an excuse either. The fact that the Redskins fight song use to include a reference to scalping the opponent is proof enough that the name isn’t honoring Natives whatsoever. After class, and seeing these two videos, my opinion has completely changed. I’m no longer indifferent about these keeping these team names, they need to be changed. Not changing them would be insensitive and insulting to Native Americans.

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  • Prior to class on Tueday, I had absolutely no idea that Native American mascots played such a role to racism and stereotypes as a whole. I always thought that Native American mascots were simply just a representation of their culture and the different tribes within. Especailly when the mascot can represent a sports team such as the Cleveland Indians or Washington Redskins. My opinion has changed after watching the clips and witnessing your shirt in class. I believe that it can be a form or stereotype/racism because it dates back so long and many Native Americans are insulted by the word “Redskins” or “R word” that some like to call it. To the average person it can just be seen as a positive mascot and attribute to the team but it goes beyond that in history and can very well offend Native Americans. The understanding about the stereotype/racism involved does shape my opinion because so many people are being offended by this mascot and nobody is doing anything about it. In fact, this was my first time hearing about this contreversy so a couple others i asked so it really was an eye opener for me.

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  • Before Tuesday’s class I felt that Native American mascots were honoring Native Americans and their culture. After class, I felt the exact same way. How is tens of thousands of fans cheering on their team mascot not the highest form of respect? The ironic t-shirt was laughable but we actually do have teams somewhat like that in the NFL and other professional sport leagues. To name a few: Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Montreal Canadiens, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans, New York Islanders, and the list goes on and on. All of these sports teams’ mascots are based after a group of people yet not one cowboy, Texan, Canadien, or Islander has complained about it, in fact these people love it and see it as a form of honor. I believe that the sensitivity nowadays has reached an all-time high with how much emphasis is put on anti-racism, and probably for good reason. However, if society changes the name of the Washington Redskins then isn’t that treating one group of people differently? Isn’t that racism in itself? Since we are changing the name of this mascot rather than the name of the Dallas Cowboys or Montreal Canadiens? After watching the video it confirmed my feeling. In the first video if any citizen of Canada complained and tried to fight to change the Montreal Canadiens hockey team mascot they would be laughed at, even though it is the exact same situation, a mascot representing a group of people.

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  • Before class on Tuesday I never really thought people would be offended by Native Americans being mascots. Ive never seen it as a bad thing. But after we talked about stereotypes and seeing your t-shirt, and the two video clips my opinion did change. As shown in the video, cartoons about black mascots, Mexican and white ones it makes me realize that its the same for Native Americans, they are still a race. By making that a mascot it makes the Native American look like they are less than other races and more compared to like a animal like other schools’ mascots are. I myself am half black, half white and if a school was “The African” or “The Caucasian” I would feel offended having a mascot being a black person or white person. I think that they should not have Native Americans as a mascot anymore because if i were them I’d take offensive to that.

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  • Before class today, how did you feel about Native American mascots? Upon class discussions about stereotypes, looking at my t-shirt, and watching this two clips, has your opinion changed? Why or white not? How does your understanding about the meaning and issues surrounding stereotypes and racism shape your reaction to mascots?

    I have never thought twice about how a mascot could offend someone. But these two videos shine light on how offensive and racist it can be. Using Native Americans as mascots diminishes Native Americans as individuals and are instead all seen as how the stereotype displays them. Those who are unaware of the actually history, traditions, and beliefs of Native Americans are influenced to see Native Americans in the way the mascot displays them, they are not aware of how offensive it can be. Stereotypes not only diminish individualism among a race but also erases that races history. In class we discussed how stereotypes can cause us to look at an Individual based on their races stereotype, we discussed how a black male walking down the street is stereotyped as a thug, an Asian is always stereotyped as being studios, and or a white male from the south is always considered a redneck. Before class and watching the two videos I had no recognition about issues surrounding stereotypes. The first video especially opened my eyes to how much pain, offense, and humiliation stereotypes can cause. While the University of Illinois saw the mascot as representing the schools history and traditions, a women of Native American descent, Charlene Teters, saw it as a mockery of her and her children’s ethnic history and traditions. My understanding about the meaning and issues surrounding stereotypes and racism shapes my reaction towards (Native American) mascots to be more aware of how they could offend the race that is being imitated, and to understand that the stereotype seen is not portraying any or all individuals of that race, but rather a negligent idea of what that race is as a whole.

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  • To be dead honest, I didn’t have a problem with Indian mascots before class, during class, and I still don’t after watching both of those videos. I don’t see it as discriminating against Indians I see it as a sign of respect. I would love for a team to be called the Brandon’s. I just find it ridiculous that this is even a topic today, everything has to be perfect and everyone must be equal. This kind of thinking has now put us in a place where we will look at a sports team who has had their name for a very long time and begin to complain. Please someone give me a reason why I am wrong.

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  • To be honest, before class I knew it was offensive, but I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal. After class, I knew it was too far, but these videos, with the Native American interaction really brought it home to me.

    In the first video, I just felt bad for how ignorant the Illinois fans were. The two older men were using the argument that they were “Tax payers in the state of Illinois, who shouldn’t have to bend to the will of minorities from Oklahoma.” Their argument for keeping their name was literally that they shouldn’t have to respect other people because they “didn’t pay taxes there.” The argument that changing the name is “too politically correct” was also used. If someone is going to try and pull the anti-politically correct card, it should be about something that actually matters, not that we should be allowed to make a joke about an entire people that were the victim of our mass killing and continuously abused by us. You don’t have to make fun of an entire ethnicity to have a fun time at a basketball game.

    In the second video, comedy was more apparent, but still brought home the point. The owner’s argument that it was being blown out of proportion, and taken out of context was shown to be obviously false, and a terrible excuse. The fact that the term redskin was associated with killing a Native American should be case enough, but the dictionary literally defines it as a racist slur. I don’t know how much more obvious it gets than that.

    Their is no honor in having a white person dress up as a Native American and do a “traditional war dance” or whatever they parade it as being. It is disrespectful, racist, and just plain wrong.

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  • Before class on Tuesday, I didn’t consider Native American mascots as very offensive at all. I viewed sports teams representing Native Americans as a sign of respect, and as a way of saluting and honoring them. I didn’t really know until very recently that the Native American community was extremely offended by these mascots. Slowly and surely, most organizations have changed their logos and names except the Washington Redskins. Because the Redskins are such a popular franchise and have millions of people paying attention to them every Sunday, Native Americans want their name to be changed most of all. It makes sense, but changing the name of a team in the most powerful and influential sports league in the world isn’t going to be easy. Changing the name of the franchise would most likely lead to a logo change and hundreds of smaller things that would affect the franchise financially. Even changing the name may not even change the way fans refer to their team in the future. They may just continue to refer to the team as the “Redskins” and that would surely infuriate the Native American population even more.

    After watching the first video, I understand why some mascots could be considered as extremely offensive to the Native American population. Having a white male decorate himself in full Native American uniform and then parade around the football field seems very disrespectful and it really is after watching the video. Their entire culture is being thrown out there for everyone to see, and the Native American community should have a right whether or not that is acceptable behavior. The problem with the Redskins is it’s an evolved organization with a long history. Throwing away the name is more of a matter of what the team had in the past and they don’t want to lose that past by changing their name. The Redskins changing their name would almost be like relocating to a new city, because all of the history comes with that team name.

    After watching the second video, I understood that even if the name isn’t able to be changed, it’s not exactly the “be all end all”. Most Native Americans don’t really mind the name, some people just take the mascot aspect way out of proportion. Fans dressing up as Native Americans at tailgates is disrespectful, and that is a more worrisome aspect to this issue than the name itself.

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  • Before class today I didn’t see the harm in having a Native American mascot for a sports team. In a way I saw it to be a positive thing, almost like a complement because the way that I perceived it as was a mascot that is strong and capable of “fighting” for a win. Although after watching the two videos and seeing other peoples views of the Native American mascot I see how it can be offensive and inconsiderate. Besides the videos, one of the biggest eye openers is the comparison of the potential mascots of other races. For example the drawing of the logo “The Africans,” with the exaggerated and cartoonish figure that went along with the team name. I also notice how most of the mascots are drawn in an exaggerated stereotypical manner. The way the Native american is drawn is almost mean looking, where in real life most of the tribes in the past and in current times are very peaceful and years ago were just trying to protect their land from the incoming new Americans.

    As for the Washington Red Skins, I believe that they were not trying to be offensive in any way. On the other hand I think that they should not protest and should accept changing their mascot to show respect to the Native American population.

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  • I agree with Brandon the entire mascot discussion doesn’t bother me at all. I don’ think that they are trying to be offensive when they named their team the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians. This has been a serious discussion in our world lately and I know that some schools are changing their mascots because of this reason. Seattle University used to be the Chieftains but eventually changed it to the Seattle University Red hawks because Chieftains was politically incorrect. Honestly I have been watched the Redskins for a long time playing in the NFL and I have watched the Cleveland Indians play in the MLB and I never thought of their mascots being disrespectful in anyway, if anything I think it shows respect, the Redskins have been the redskins since 1933 why change it now?

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  • Before the class started, I never even thought about Chief mascot as something harmful and disrespectful. The Redskins meaning behind it and Cavaliers should change their names to fit a better perspective of Indians. People should understand the meaning behind a mascot before using it in ways that can offend others. The videos showed that even though Redskins have been used for a while now, it is derogatory and needs to change. This is only after watching the video and coming to understand their perspective on this touchy subject. There are plenty of cartoons out that show the mascot and make fun of it or even promote it. How the mass look at the mascot Redskins, would not be in a disrespectful way. I would have thought that people respected the mascot and not taking it for a joke.

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