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Opinion
Harjo: Hanging onto mascots, toys of racism


"Most of the commentators on this issue lump 'Indian' sports references in with the bears, tigers, banana slugs, geoducks and leprechauns. They don't seem to notice that they are species hopping from humans to creatures and mythical beings, and that only the 'Indians' are based on living people.

A few of the pundits feel they have to point out that the 'Indian' sports references aren't real, as if the NCAA and Native people thought they were.

And, they come up with the ever-popular question: don't you have more important things to do for American Indians? No one who's ever asked that question is doing anything to help Native people.

Here's my question to everyone who's in a dither about the NCAA's decision: don't you have anything better to do than hang on to these toys of racism?"

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: The NCAA is learning what it's like to be Indian (Indian Country Today 8/12)

Harjo Columns on Mascots:
Harjo: Ruling expected any day on use of R-word (06/17)
Harjo: NCAA should ban all 'Native' imagery (05/27)

NCAA Announcement:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee - http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/
membership/governance/assoc-wide/moic/index.html

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media - http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm

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