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Team Mascots Confer No 'Indian Pride'

June 30, 2002

Re "School Mascot Protesters, Police Clash Outside Fullerton Meeting," June 19:

As a recent graduate of Fullerton High School, I'm disappointed and frustrated with the school board's inaction in addressing the Native American community on the school's use of the Indian mascot.

To say that the mascot gives students "Indian Pride" is offensively misleading; never in my four years at the school was I given any lessons on Indian pride, the struggles of Native Americans or the culture of indigenous peoples beyond what is normally covered in any American civics class. Our "Indian Pride" consisted of dressing up in stereotypical feathery headdresses and doing something vaguely resembling a tomahawk chop during football games to root our team to victory. Not only is this a laughable cliche, but it does nothing to provide education on what Native American culture is. Wildcats and eagles, maybe, but it's time to stop our culturally insensitive use of groups of people as mascots.

Gabriel McGowan

Fullerton

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