Opinion: 'Indian' mascots perpetuate stereotypes

"In Andrew Jackson's hey day — before the historic Trail of Tears — there were bounties on some American Indian tribes that were in his way. To show proof that the scalp was indeed that of an Indian, the bounty hunter would skin the person, hence the phrase "red skins."

Washington's professional football team has that name, and I find that offensive.

The other side of the issue is that mascots or nicknames depicting a race of people are wrong. One side says that it is honoring Indian people. It does not. Portraying a raging mascot just creates a stereotype of Indians.

Look at what the Atlanta Braves baseball team and fans do. Their "tomahawk chop" mimics supposed Indian singing. Fans wear chicken feather headdresses and paint their faces. They yell things that, from their perspective, might be identified as Indian — incorrect or not.

These antics are not honoring. They are characterizing, perpetuating and creating stereotypes of American Indians.

I suggest that we all be fair in this mascot issue and not let the American Indians have the entire honor."

Get the Story:
Floyd Ballinger St. Cloud : American Indian mascots just perpetuate stereotypes (The St. Cloud Times 3/6)

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