historically large percentage of Native Americans in their student
bodies. The rule would not apply to postseason football, since the
NCAA does not run bowl games. Where is the line between "hostile" and
acceptable when it comes to school nicknames and mascots?
There is no acceptable line if the logo or the nicknames are
offensive to any indigenous people.
I realize such changes are difficult for traditional people who
grew up never thinking twice about prejudice or racism. I am a child
of the 1940s and '50s, so I know that type of cultural challenge and
it can be tough. But think of the possibilities that now allow for a
whole new creative group of names -- ones that could come from the
world of computers, music or movies.
All that is required is a little imagination, sense of humor and a
willingness to try.
SENIOR PASTOR JAMES TURRELL
Center for Spiritual Discovery
A member of the Comanche tribe wrote, "Native Americans would
never associate the sacred practices of becoming a warrior with the
hoopla of a high school pep rally, halftime entertainment, being a
sidekick to cheerleaders or royalty in homecoming pageants. Most of
these types of activities carry racial overtones of playing Indian in
Mock American Indian gestures and behaviors are sources of
ridicule and distort cultural perceptions. The warlike, aggressive,
scalp-gathering, war-whooping, flaming-spear-throwing Native American
is a degrading spectacle. The noble savage and red-faced warrior are
shallow caricatures. Exploitative depictions as bellicose tomahawk
wielders are repulsive anachronisms. Cartoonish images -- such as the
buck-toothed, big-nosed, red-faced logo of the Cleveland Indians --
are insults to the Native American's ancestors and are a shameful
embarrassment to his children.
How about cheering on the Chicago Negroes, the New York Jews, the
San Diego Caucasians, the San Francisco Asians? Perhaps a
sombrero-wearing Hispanic as an official sports logo? What if we
rooted for the Blackskins, Whiteskins, or Yellowskins as symbols or