January 28, 2009

Anti-mascot bill proposed

From a MySpace bulletin by Louis Gray (Osage):

Anti-Mascot Bill Set to Launch in OklahomaThis bill is intended to eliminate the use of the Indian Mascots Redskins and Savages. There are about 2 dozen teams in Oklahoma which use the mascot. Most thoughtful people agree that these two names rise to the level of slurs. Please attend if you can, And we need your help calling State Senators and State Representatives in Oklahoma to support this bill.

Tulsa Indian Coalition Against Racism

Press Conference

SB 765
Oklahoma Anti-Discriminatory Mascots Act
The key section of this proposed act:All public schools in Oklahoma, including institutions of elementary, secondary and higher education, shall be prohibited from using any of the following school or athletic team names, mascots, or nicknames:

1. Savages;

2. Redskins;

3. Any other Native American tribal name;

4. Any other racially derogatory or discriminatory school or athletic team name, mascot or nickname; and

5. All other racially and culturally-related mascots that are deemed harmful as defined by the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, the National Indian Education Association, and the American Psychological Association.
Comment:  I'm not sure trying to legislate these nicknames out of existence is the best approach. I like the carrot-and-stick approach the NCAA took. "You can keep your stereotypical mascots if you want. You just can't participate in the NCAA's post-season tournaments with them. How you choose to proceed is completely up to you."

The five-minute video below is about 3-4 minutes too long. But you can glean a few useful nuggets of information from it. One, mascot lovers enjoy watching and dressing up as stereotypical half-naked "redskins" and "savages." Two, Natives are leading the protests against these names and images. This isn't the work of some "liberal do-gooders" like me.

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