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Mascot Racism (fwd)

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  • Glenn Welker
    Dear Friends: Granted that at first glance, Chief Illiniwek is not as BLATENTLY racist as Chief Wahoo and some of the others, but is still very stereotyped
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2000
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      Dear Friends:

      Granted that at first glance, "Chief Illiniwek" is not as BLATENTLY
      racist as
      "Chief Wahoo" and some of the others, but is still very stereotyped
      and none
      the less offensive.

      Chief Illiniwek is decked in traditional Lakota clothing. The Plains
      regalia
      is the first thing that comes to most peoples minds when they think
      of
      American Indian people. Check your history books. The Illiniwek
      Indians
      dressed nothing like that. We all are very different and our
      ceremonial
      dress is very different. Not everone was from the Plains Tribes. If
      your
      intentions were to "honor' the Illiniwek, at least have the courtesy
      to get
      their clothing correct.

      Now to defend the Lakota Nation. Most First Nation Peoples love
      sports. Our
      Ancestors were playing them long before the Europeans arrived. I am
      sure the
      Lakotas had their own, too. And like the Shawnee, they had
      particular
      dress
      specific for these games. The Eagle feather bonnet, worn only by the
      greatest of Chiefs, was upheld in the highest respect. It was worn
      for
      important ceremonies and battles ONLY. It was, and is still not,
      taken
      lightly... and certainly not worn to a sporting event.

      Do I need to even mention the vulgarity of the "Tomahawk Chop"?
      Yeah,
      that's
      not a bit racist is it? We all run around the house doing rain
      dances
      too.

      The whole point is that Native Americans are NOT honored by these
      images any
      more than an African American would be if you dressed someone up like
      Al
      Jolsen and had him eat watermelon for show. That is exactly how
      blatetly
      racist these images are. (My sincere apologies to the Black Community
      for
      having to use such a graphicly harsh reference, intended soley to
      make
      a
      point.) No one would dare tolerate something like that, after
      everything
      the Black community has had to go through, and are still going
      through, just
      to get equal and just treatment. Why are the First Nations any
      different?

      We are not circus clowns to be paraded around for amusement.We are
      your
      neighbors. We wear jeans and T-shirts. We eat at Hardees and Mc
      Donalds just
      like everyone else. Sometimes we choose to wear breads, sometimes we
      don't.
      But we are still people and deserve the same respect as anyone else.
      The
      "Noble Savage" is only one step up from the rest of them and is still
      very
      steriotypical and unrealistic. If you are truly interested in giving
      our
      warriors Honor, then sign our petitions asking for a Federally
      recognized
      Holiday in rememberance of our Ancestors who died trying to keep what
      was
      rightfully theirs to begin with.

      Sincerely,
      Ms. Trevor Counts Wolfvixen7@...
      Shawnee/Cherokee descendant
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