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Native American Mascots: Considerate Or Offensive?

1161 words - 5 pages

“Countless native people cannot obtain loans from banks or live where they want to due to the negative stereotypes these mascots encourage "said Lawrence Baca, from the Pawnee tribe. Professional sport teams, colleges and high schools depict Native Americans base on their culture loosely. Not only this controversy is offensive, but it is harmful to the Native Americans’ integrity. Instead of honoring the Native Americans, they are being ridicule with discrimination and stereotypes. Mascots are there to represent a team’s identity and competitive spirit, not to mock a culture. The use of Native Americans mascot does not symbolize their culture heroically, but it taunts their heritage in a racist manner. Exploiting the Native American culture should not be use to portray a sport team, using their culture mascot represents a false perception about the culture, damage their virtue and causes racial discrimination.
Native American mascots are view by the native people as racist and dehumanizing. The images of American Indians chiefs that sport teams use lead to misconception of the Native Americans today. Many American Indians do not look like Chief Wahoo or the Washington Redskins’ mascot. Indians are still fighting the stereotypes that are dehumanizing them and their culture. Today many people thinks Indians wear feather headbands, beads, live in teepees and hunt buffaloes. In the real world, most Indians live in cities, reside houses and shops at stores like a modern day human. The majority of the Native Americans do not fit into those stereotypes. “I’m a flop, an embarrassment to my racial stereotype. My hair is shoulder-length, and I don’t feather it, unless you count my unfortunate Farrah Fawcett period in junior high” (Pyrillis). Now in these days people do not believe an actual Indian is actually an Indian. They are still coping through those racial stereotypes, like how Chief Wahoo and the other mascots that represent Native Americans. That is the reason why most Americans are confuse about who Indians really are or look like. “Sometimes, people simply don’t think I’m Indian. ‘You don’t look Indian’ a woman told me once” (Pyrillis). The mascots that are use to today corrupt Native American culture and their identity. The use of the Indian as a symbolic figure causes racial stereotypes, moreover, it affects Native Americans psychologically.
Suicide rate among Native youth is high along with the Indians that are victims of a violent crime. Children’s self-esteem and self-worth are shaped by what the public thinks and see. The Indian sport team mascots affect the Native children psychologically. The harmful effect that Indian mascots create damage the youth with racial discrimination. “The use of Indian mascot create a negative environment for our Native American students” (Hall). Most of the children are growing up in poverty, subject to domestic violence and target of racism. These issues that the Native youth faces accumulate and can...

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