Opinion: 'Fighting Sioux' promotes racism

"Supporters of the “Fighting Sioux” logo claim it honors American Indians and insist that it’s not offensive. Opponents say such logos give life to racial stereotyping and revive historical patterns of appropriation and oppression.

These results often create discomfort and pain among American Indian people. The exploitation of Indians through logos, mascots, and nicknames in schools is, in reality, an issue of educational unfairness to American Indians.

I say these racist activities are forms of cultural violence in schools. For example, the first instance of an “Indian” nickname for a sports team was in 1894 at Carlisle Indian School, an off-reservation U.S government boarding school for American Indian students located in Carlisle, Pa., where I once lived. Many young Indians never made it out of Carlisle alive, let alone returned home after school was over.

While most American Indians always have opposed the use of “Indian” logos, mascots and nicknames, most European Americans have eagerly supported them. Many European Americans rely on these man-made images to anchor them to the land and verify a false account of a shared history. These “Indians” exist only in the imagination, they provide a self-serving historical connection that leaves actual American Indians erased from the historical accounts of European Americans."

Get the Story:
Michael Eshkibok: Nicknames promote racism, not dialogue (The Grand Forks Herald 3/9)

Relevant Links:
University of North Dakota - http://www.und.edu
The Ralph - http://www.theralph.com
Fighting Sioux - http://www.fightingsioux.com

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