December 07, 2008

How the University of Utah "honors" Indians

Students protest, say Ute nickname breeding racism

Response » U. has long history of supporting American Indians.While debate over the school's trademarked use of the words "Ute" and "Runnin' Utes" and its use of American Indian imagery, including the drum-and-feathers logo, isn't new, protesters were irate over several recent events. They were unhappy that the U. gave up $2.1 million in federal grant money marked for teacher training programs for American Indian students last spring.

Last month, vendors hawked T-shirts before the U. football game against Texas Christian University that depicted a large-nosed American Indian roasting the TCU mascot of a horned frog, an animal revered by Utes and other American Indians. BYU students displayed posters reading "back to the reservation" and the "Trail of Tears" during a women's volleyball match, while some fans attending the U.-BYU football game dressed in war paint and headdresses.

Such incidents, they say, demonstrate how the Ute trademark invites ridicule and disrespect from fellow students and breeds mockery and racism at athletic events.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

Below:  "Lily Matinez of West Jordan, left, and Richard Diaz of West Valley City, both students at the Univeristy of Utah, chant during a protest organized by the Coalition of American Indian Students Thursday, December 04, 2008 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City."

And a charming Utah Ute doll for sale. With a pseudo-Mohawk hairstyle, a pseudo-stripe of warpaint across the nose, and pseudo-red skin. Or not.

Perhaps this wild-eyed "fanatic" has nothing to do with the white man's perception of Indians. Or not.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

I guess I would not have come to the conclusion that the doll was an (or stereotypical rendition there of) Indian on my own