Letter: Pregame video depicted 'savage' Indian
"While all Cavalier fans were let down by the losing score of Saturday’s football game, I was disappointed by something else: the pregame video. A classic part of U.Va. football, the video always depicts the beloved Cavman vanquishing the mascot of our rival team, getting the crowd pumped for the game. Often they are humorous, but standing amid the loud cheers of other fans, I cringed in astonishment and disbelief: the gait of the Native American was hunched and intense. His voice was simply a savage screech. His whole behavior was primitive. These negative stereotypes, derived from the popular American imagination, have no place in the entertainment of a university whose goals are “[to] foster in students the habits of mind and character required to develop a generous receptivity to new ideas” and “[to] re-interpret human experience.”

Though I have been at the University of Virginia for merely two full weeks, my professors have already stressed the importance of the individual in studying history and non-western perspectives. The way in which the cartoon portrayed the William and Mary Tribe contrasted sharply with the messages delivered in the classroom and the listed goals of the University as a whole. Professors may urge us to pluralize and abandon the wrong stereotypes engraved in our minds, but this mindset means nothing if it does not expand beyond academia. Our prejudices are fed by stereotypical images, both subtle and blatant."

Get the Story:
Anna Fairchild: Embarrassing stereotype (The Cavalier Daily 9/10)

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