August 16, 2008

Telling Indians what to do

In Racist Warwick Warrior? Russell Bates raised the issue of whether I'd lecture two Oklahoma schools about their Indian logos. My response:

I presume both schools are Indian schools. Not that it really matters. I'm not going to tell the schools what to do. My approach is to tell you what I think, not what you or they should think. That's because I'm not a presumptuous white man.

As you may or may not have noticed, I generally don't get involved in anti-mascot campaigns. For instance, I haven't signed Tim Giago's petition to ban mascots. My function is to provide the information and the analysis. I leave it to others to act upon it.

In my view, this is the proper role of the journalist-blogger. You don't expose people's misdeeds, then lead the effort to prosecute them. That would be a conflict of interest. To paraphrase the immortal words of Fox News, "I report, you decide."

As I've said before, I'm especially reluctant to tell Indians what to do. If the Indians at the two schools want to represent themselves with stereotypical logos, that's okay by me. If they think their logos are good, who am I to tell them otherwise?

Does Rob, the Great White Father, know better than the poor little Indians? Occasionally, yes, but I'm not forcing my views on anyone. I'm not marching in front of the schools or sending them my analyses. They'll learn what I think only if they Google "mascots" or visit my website.

If they want to discuss the pros and cons of Indian logos, I have all the arguments they need. I think I can make the case that a stereotypical logo is stereotypical. But I'm not ordering people to change their logos or else. Again, I report, you decide.

Below:  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Apparently, the two schools here in Anadarko have decided, years ago. But no bad thing has come of their decisions. writerfella makes no decision based on theirs, he only is trying to communicate their decisions. That is where writerfella and this blogsite finds differentiation...
All Best
Russ Bates