Alex Jacobs: 'Savage' Indians buried deep in American psyche

Alex Jacobs discusses the "traditions' behind the use of Indians as mascots:
Ever since the Boston Tea Party, white dudes have been acting out by dressing up as Indians in modified burlap sacks, feathers in their hair and painted faces. The Dutch farmers of early New York State also dressed up as these Mohawk Indians to abuse state tax collectors, send a message and hide their identities. So there’s that tradition.

The savage, the redskin, the warrior, the fighter, the defender, the killer, the scalper—all are somehow buried deep in the American psyche, the bloody history, Hollywood, the playing of war, the play killing, the violence the acting out. So there’s that tradition.

It is a property thing, after all, the ‘Mericans say they discovered, stole, killed for, made treaties for, then purchased the whole thing! And after ‘skins were made into farmers or alcoholics on reservations, the red warrior is honored for being a worthy opponent to the genocidal maniacs. Actually, that would make a great name for the Washington, DC soccer team: the Genocide! The logo could be a pile of skulls!

So it belongs to them, it’s their property, they killed for it, it’s an honor thing. It’s a hundred years old and that’s as old and traditional as it gets in this young country, which still struggles to understand its own nationhood. So I propose a new set of sports-team names based on terms that the rest of America knows these cities and regions by. They are historically based, so we should honor our country’s history in this manner.

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Alex Jacobs: A Troublemaker's Take on 'Redskins': White Dudes Playing Dress-Up (Indian Country Today 10/31)

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