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Graduate Never Thought the Warrior Was a Mere Mascot

June 08, 1997

Re "What He Stands For" (May 28): As a University High School graduate, I'm deeply offended by John Orendorff's interpretation of Uni's Warrior emblem as a "mascot."

In my first semester at Uni (fall 1941), we learned the early history of the campus springs and surrounding area. We were told the Gabrielenos' heritage and traditions were something to be honored and emulated.

We were not taught that the Warrior was a good luck charm, a mascot. His ire is misplaced.

LENARD E. McDONALD

Culver City

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As a person of Cherokee Indian descent I can relate to John Orendorff's feelings. However, I feel he is carrying on a less than admirable Cherokee tradition of backing the wrong horse.

When Europeans settled in the southeastern section of what is now the United States, our ancestors rejected the matriarchy that served us so well for millenniums. The Cherokees allied themselves with the British against their settler neighbors. Cherokees joined Col. Andrew Jackson to destroy the Creek Nation. Later as president, Andrew Jackson ordered the forced removal (the Trail of Tears) of our nation so whites could get control of the Dahlonega, Ga., gold mine. Cherokees rejected Shawnee Chief Tecumseh's request for a final rebellion against the European settlers. Cherokees were slave owners and sided with the Confederacy.

Now Orendorff is siding with political correctness to erase some of the little recognition Native Americans get.

Yes, Washington Redskins is a racial pejorative, but Braves? Warriors? To quote a European poet, I'm very proud that most Native Americans did "not go gentle, into that good night."

LARRY SULLIVAN)

Venice

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LAUSD's American Indian Education Commission deserves a standing ovation. Orendorff is obviously a great teacher. I hope the students (and principals, coaches, alumni) listened and learned. But I doubt it. Apparently none of them asked, "What can we do to earn the privilege of using the name?"

RICHARD M. JEPPERSON

Glendale

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