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If your team name were the Pittsburgh Negroes Kansas City Jews Redding Redskins Houston Hispanics Chicago Chicanos Orlando Orientals or Washington Whities and someone from those communities found the invented name stereotyped labels and ethnic symbols associated with it offensive and asked that it be changed would you not change the name If not why not Let us further honor these groups with demeaning caricatures of a rabbi in a flowing robe a Black Sambo image a mascot who would run around in a Ku Klux Klan outfit It is a mix of racism with sports enthusiasm under the guise of team spirit Vickers 1998 asserts that indigenous writers artists and activists on all fronts would be sure to condemn all the noxious stereotypes implied above Invented media images prevent millions of Americans from understanding the past and current authentic human experience of First Nations People The opposition to the use of Indian mascots for sports teams has always been because these trappings and seasonal insults offend the intelligence of thousands of Indigenous Peoples in this country I see that the way Indian mascots are used today is about dysconscious racism and a form of cultural violence which operates primarily at the psychological level According to Joyce King 1991 and Gloria Ladson-Billings 1990 dysconscious racism is a form of racism4 that unconsciously accepts dominant white norms and privileges For example if you have seen the racial antics and negative behaviors portrayed by Indian mascots hundreds of times for most of your life you may become absolutely numb to their presence That is dysconscious racism The thousands of ways in which Indian mascots are used today in American sports culture is racist and should be eliminated using education as the tool for liberation However I understand that many educators not familiar with equity issues are equipped to teach such liberation Teachers should research the matter and discover that Indigenous Peoples would never have associated
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