Time for Redskins' retirement
Board votes 3-2 to change school's mascot
The decision begins the task of replacing the arrowheads, headdresses and other symbols that have adorned courts, uniforms and signs for more than eight decades.
The divided vote reflected the rifts the mascot issue has opened in the 5,500-person town. Audience members loudly cheered speakers defending the nickname as a revered tradition, while a smaller contingent of Wintun, Maidu and other tribe members passionately attacked it as a mark of oppression and intolerance.
After the two-hour drama played out before a television crew and about 110 spectators, a slim majority chose to drop the tribal name and emblem, causing many audience members to rush out of the district auditorium within seconds in disgust.
What a great way to "honor" Indians: by portraying them as frozen in the distant past, hundreds of years ago. Is there a better example of how today's Americans view Indians as a vanished breed? Not since the last time they portrayed Indians as stereotypical spearchuckers, surely.
Are these the same "redskins" who greeted Columbus? Probably not, since these Indians like to skewer people. Columbus reported that the Indians he met were as sweet and innocent as children. In contrast, these make-believe Indians exist to kill and ravage--i.e., to act savagely.
If it isn't obvious, this is exactly why things such as Redskin magazine are offensive and stereotypical. It's because they contribute to the perception that Indians are backward, primitive, and superstitious. The term "redskin" literally goes only skin-deep; it's shallow and superficial.
For more on the subject, see Red·skin n. Dated, Offensive, Taboo.