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Native Americans, Struggles, Mascots, Controversy

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Native Americans, Struggles, Mascots, and Controversy

There has been a national debate for years over Native American athletic mascots. “Members of the North Carolina Mascot Education and Action Group and the Guilford Native American Association, however, repeatedly told us that they perceived the use of Indian mascots, logos, caricatures, and similar images by our schools as a clear form of institutional racism” (Grier 2005: 51). In this paper we will discuss the controversial impact of the Native American stereotype used as mascots. In the early 1900’s when the threat of colonization was abolished Americans started to use the Native American mascot to show their acknowledgement of their struggles. Although this was symbolic it has been an ongoing controversy within schools and sports. California is the second highest state that uses the most Native American imagery and symbols. The importance of this contemporary issue is an ongoing debate in California that has impacted the true history of Native Americans and the battles they went through. The truth is crucial because their imagery and interpretation is misunderstood in American history. In the early 1900’s it became acceptable to use Native American imagery for advertisement. “One of the reasons why most Americans find the mascots unremarkable and do not turn a critical eye toward the mascots is because of the prevalence of similar images throughout U.S. popular culture” (King, et al 2002:391). Although years later these symbolic images became a form of institutional racism. Many people are against these images that are portrayed in todays society because they believe it portrays negative stereotypes. “Such imagery is seen as affecting Native American images of themselves, creating a hostile climate for many Native Americans, and preventing people from understanding current Native American realities,…...

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