Sunday, January 11, 2015

Why the use of Native American Mascots and Logos Matter

Is it ever okay to make jokes about, mock, trivialize, etc. historic events such as The Holocaust, slavery, Japanese internment, Indian removal, etc.?

Is this just an issue of "freedom of speech" or is it something bigger? Explain your answer.

What effect if any do jokes, trivialization, etc. of these events have on the individuals directly or indirectly affected by these events?

Who benefits from the use of Native American mascots and logos?

Your assignment is to look for examples on social media relating to the issue of Indian removal. We will share examples in class and discuss what if any impact these images, words, etc. have on individuals and society as a whole.

Each person is expected to find two examples to share with the class.


If you are unsure of how or where to start, one suggestion is to search "Trail of Tears" on Twitter. I did a quick search and in less than 30 seconds found multiple examples.

 


Some context on Florida State University and its mascot:

Sports writer Dave Zirin has written extensively on the issue of  Florida State Seminoles:

The agreement is with the Florida Seminole Tribal Council and not the Seminole Nation. The majority of Seminoles don’t even live in Florida. They live in Oklahoma, one of the fruits of the Seminole Wars, the Indian Removal Act and The Trail of Tears. These Oklahoma Seminoles—who, remember, are the majority—oppose the name. On October 26, 2013, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma’s governing body passed a resolution that read in part, “The Seminole Nation condemns the use of all American Indian sports team mascots in the public school system, by college and university level and by professional teams.."

CNN "In America"
Native American Mascots: Pride or Prejudice?

At Florida State University, a white man dresses up as Chief Osceola, smears war paint on his face and rides an appaloosa called Renegade to the middle of Doak Campbell Stadium. He plants a burning spear on the field before every home game. The marching band plays Indian-themed music, and the crowd goes wild doing the “tomahawk chop,” a move picked up by the Atlanta Braves...


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