Education | Opinion

Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown: School must eliminate racist mascot

YouTube: Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Team Names on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth

Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown, the founder of Native Education Raising Dedicated Students (NERDS), tells Calaveras High School in California why he opposes the use of racist mascots:
I have respect for your school, your students and your alumni but cannot condone the use of any race-based mascots, especially those that are a slur.

My school district’s administrators tell me that in early October they invited Calaveras Unified School District representatives to attend a meeting on the mascot issue. I assure you, many Calaveras community members and school personnel knew of Assembly Bill 30 and the Assembly hearings over the past six months.

If there is proof showing children are suffering from being bullied and forced to withdraw from school activities because of race-based mascots, then isn’t this a civil rights matter? Aren’t all children entitled to an education free from intimidation and bullying? Are the schools not state funded? Then the state making the decision to not allow harm to students would be correct!

On May 4, I sat at a roundtable with nine people in New York City to discuss education and how urban natives are struggling and why we are faced with so many obstacles. At that table was President Obama and I was there as his guest. I do not care which your political party is and I am only 16, therefore unable to vote, but when the president of the United States asks your opinion and how can this country make positive changes to help those struggling the most, you show up and you speak up. I am very proud of myself and my stand on this topic.

Get the Story:
Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown: Redskins name ban proponent speaks to Calaveras High School (The Calaveras Enterprise 6/2)

Center for American Progress Report:
Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Native Mascots and Team Names on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth (July 2014)

Related Stories:
California Racial Mascots Act passes Assembly with 60-9 vote (5/5)
Center: Report outlines harmful effects of 'Indian' mascots (7/22)

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