Advertisement

Failed Mascot Ban Shields Subtle Racism

June 03, 2002

Re "Bill to Ban Indian Mascots Is Blocked," May 29:

The California State Assembly failed to ban the use of racially offensive mascot names from public schools when it had the chance. Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) hit the nail on the head when she said, "For too long, we have tolerated racial insensitivity."

I believe it's the responsibility of our leaders to do the right thing despite being accused of "political correctness run amok," as stated by Assemblyman Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta). Bashing political correctness has to some degree become a new tool for those of the far right to use in justifying institutional racism. It's the same logic they use in parts of the Deep South in order to keep the Confederate flag waving at state capitols.

How sad it is to reduce any human being with such a culturally significant history to a red-skinned caricature mocking his own race of people, especially since it was most certainly not Native Americans who began this practice in the first place.

How disappointed I am that our representatives in the state Assembly (moderates and conservatives alike) didn't have the moral courage to do the right thing despite a lack of interest from some Native American groups. I thought they were more progressive than that. If my maternal grandfather, former chief of the Wyandotte tribe in northeast Oklahoma, were still alive, he would be very disappointed in hearing this but not surprised. He spent his entire life in quiet dignity with this type of racism as a constant backdrop--as so many others have done and will continue to do, apparently into the foreseeable future.

Mitch O'Farrell

Glassell Park

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|