Education | Opinion

Editorial: Racist mascots don't belong in Maine's public schools

Newspaper calls on schools in Maine to avoid using stereotypical images of Indians as mascots:
A decade ago, dozens of Maine schools used nicknames like Redskins, Indians and Warriors. By 2010, the number was down to nine.

High schools in Sanford and Scarborough, for instance, both once the Redskins, have started new traditions, and in just a few years time, they are the Spartans and Red Storm, respectively, through and through.

Now there are just three: the Skowhegan Indians, and the Nokomis and Wells Warriors.

Wells is now phasing out Native American imagery, opting for the generic use of the Warrior mascot, just as Southern Aroostook High School and many others have done. Nokomis very easily could follow suit.

The case in Skowhegan is more complex. The nickname “Indians” is not, on its face, racist or derogatory, not in the way that “Redskins” clearly is.

“Redskins” is being erased slowly from the lexicon. Unfortunately, it’s hanging on in popular culture in a big way, through the NFL’s Washington Redskins, and then only because of obstinacy, the power of merchandising rights and a misplaced sense of nostalgia.

Get the Story:
Our View: Maine school mascots should avoid racial stereotypes (The Portland Press Herald 6/4)

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