Malcolm Benally: Some Navajo leaders clueless on mascots

Malcolm Benally, a member of the Navajo Nation, supports the elimination of disparaging mascots in sports but wonders why some tribal leaders don't feel the same way:
The recent efforts of Council Delegate Joshua Lavar Butler to pass legislation against the use of derogatory mascot names in professional sports is finally an issue that speaks volumes for all other important issues facing the Navajo Nation.

We can finally rally behind and acknowledge the power we have. Council Delegate Jonathan Hale's suggestion to deal with this issue across the board by doing away with all reservation school "derogatory" mascot names altogether is, finally, something we can all agree on. I want to help end the use of derogatory mascots. I have seen how our Navajo Nation leadership wrought havoc on traditional Navajos, almost completely wiping out the identity of the resistors of Diné people who live on Hopi Partitioned Lands.

Instead the grassroots community has been labeled "resistor(s)," "unlawful," "rebels," and "anti-government," where lawyers and Navajo leadership intimidated family members into political slogan corners (usually in the press) when they should be protected by "free, prior, and informed consent."

Get the Story:
Malcolm Benally: Natives Must Rally Together to Ban Offensive Mascots (Indian Country Today 4/22)

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