Black People : Honoring Native Americans with Disrespect

Pharaoh Jahil

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Honoring Native Americans with Disrespect
By Ed Wiley III, BET.com Staff Writer


Posted September 21, 2004 -- In the nation’s capital, where 20,000 Native Americans converged this week for the most grandiose tribal gathering in U.S. history, several Indian groups are demanding that the city discard an icon they say reminds them of America’s historic hate of their people: The Washington “Redskins” mascot.

After 15 years of development and $219 million in costs, Washington, D.C. introduced a museum on the National Mall Tuesday that recognizes the historic contributions of Native Americans. Ironically, say a wide range of religious, civil rights and Native American, organizations, long after the hoopla of the unveiling dies down, the most resounding roar rising out of Washington will be the praises lifted to a degrading icon.

“‘Redskins’ is the most derogatory name our people can be called” – tantamount to calling an African American a ******, a Latino a spic or a Caucasian a honkie – says Suzan Harjo, who heads the Morning Star Institute, a national Indian rights organization. Most people believe that the term “Redskins” relates to color of Native Americans’ skin, which is derogatory enough, but the moniker has a far more nefarious connotation Harjo says.

'Screams of our people'

She points to government-sanctioned bounties that White men put on Indians that could be collected by producing the dead bodies of her ancestors. As it became increasingly difficult to store and transport heaps of putrid, rotting corpses, colonial governors, and subsequently U.S. officials, agreed to pay for Indians’ scalps and skins, which were crammed into sacks. Colonists often scalped Indians and stripped the corpses of skin, says Dartmouth College historian Colin Calloway.

Tina Holder, whose origins are Blackfoot, Cherokee and Choctaw, is a longtime opponent of the “Redskins” name. She offers the following description:

“Back not so long ago, when there was a bounty on the heads of the Indian people... the trappers would bring in Indian scalps along with the other skins that they had managed to trap or shoot,” says Holder, whose arguments were included in a recent court filing in support of Harjo's claim. “Trappers and hunters began using the term ‘redskin’ ...they would tell the owner that they had bearskin, deerskins...and ‘redskins.’ The term came from the bloody mess that one saw when looking at the scalp ...thus the term ‘red’...skin... So, you see when we see or hear that term...we don't see a football team... we don't see a game being played...we don't see any ‘honor’...we see the bloody pieces of scalps that were hacked off of our men, women and even our children... we hear the screams as our people were killed...and ‘skinned’ just like animals. So, yes, ...you can safely say that the term is considered extremely offensive.”

Holder is not alone. There are more than 500 Native groups, hundreds of tribes and tens of thousands of signatures calling for the retirement of the more than 3,000 Indian-name mascots currently in use. The United States Commission on Civil Rights, chaired by Elsie Meeks, a highly respected Lakota woman, has urged public schools to cease with such names. In 1992, the NAACP issued a resolution stating that Indian logos undermine “self-determination and dignity of Indian people” and urged all teams to change their names; for athletes, particularly Black athletes, to use their influence to effect change; and for everyone to stop purchasing items with racist logos. Others standing against Indian-name teams include the National Education Association, the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

To read the rest, go here....

http://www.bet.com/News/indianimage...ferrer={4F30FDDA-FAFA-4BA8-8103-B92417993675}
 

MrBlak

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May 18, 2004
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The redskins maskot and name is really racist I agree. They should be mad.
 

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