S.E. Ruckman: Reflections on Indian mascots
"For American Indians, the symbols have been around so long that we scarcely notice it. Recently, I saw the most remarkable book cover. It was a hoot. The front was emblazoned with the title, “To Tame a Savage.” The most Anglo, possibly Latin-looking, young man was on the cover had abs as hard as slate. One could literally scale off his muscles as he stared moodily at the perspective reader. It got my attention.
What it represented is the cotton packaged representation of the American Indian in the mainstream. We see them, our likeness on butter, cornmeal and other commodities.
I remember in college, we took whole semesters on this. We studied those who spents careers studying the portrayal of ethnic facets for commercial and sentimental gain.
With that said, seeing that book cover came just on the heels of a recent high school football rivalry between two wealthy school districts. No beating around the bush here, it was the Tulsa Union Redskins and the Jenks Trojans who were battling it out not two miles from my house.
That very day, an activist group convened on the local federal courthouse to protest the continued usage of the Redskin moniker by this local school district. The group who protests the name has been fighting this battle for years. Faithfully, they go to every game and every board meeting to ask to be heard on the subject. To no avail."
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S.E. Ruckman: Reflections on mascots: What are they saying?
(The Native American Times 9/25)