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Indian Mascot Name Change

In: Social Issues

Submitted By WillBJoiner
Words 1769
Pages 8
Mascot Name Changes Assignment 1) a) In the article by King and Springwood (2000), “Fighting Spirits: The Racial Politics of Sports Mascots”, the authors go into detail about how “whiteness” (at Ole Miss) and “redness” (at Florida State) have been used to create a controversial symbol of power that has produced a racial discrepancy between opposing races taking offense to the mascot used by both schools. In the case of Florida State University, the school has developed a mascot (Chief Osceola) that portrays the American Indian as an aggressive savage. “When Osceola leads the FSU football players onto the field, he signifies armed resistance, bravery, and savagery, and his appearance builds on the prevailing understandings of Indianness that construct Native Americans as aggressive, hostile, and even violent” (King and Springwood [2000], p. 285). This portrayal of savagery is at the heart of the arguments by native Indians to remove their names from colleges using their image as a motivational and war-like incentive. I have never viewed the mascots of colleges as being an offensive form of racial disparity, but this article made me view this issue from the other side and opened my eyes as to why groups of people may be offended by how their name is being represented to the public. For example, I grew up an avid sports fan, but history never really caught my interest. Therefore, my view of the American Indian is distorted from the reality of their true image because I have only seen their name used as rally call for battle in a football or basketball game. King and Springwood (2000) elaborated on this issue by stating, “To characterize the indigenous Seminole people or any other native nation of North America as warlike or bellicose dehumanizes them and demonizes them. More important, it disregards both their cultures and their histories” (p. 285-286).…...

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