April 20, 2009

School defends tomahawk chop

School to settle chop's futureMembers of the Gill-Montague School Committee continue to hear from both supporters and opponents of the "tomahawk chop" gesture used at school sporting events, and they hope to make a final decision on the issue by their May 12 meeting.

School officials put a moratorium on the chop in the fall in deference to American Indians who may find it offensive. However, students, alumni and townspeople have called for the gesture and its accompanying band music to be reinstituted.
Comment:  It's nice when you have a case that clearly exposes the racism of mascot defenders. These people can't and don't claim that they're "honoring" Indians. They simply want their tomahawk chop because they've always had it.

Whether the defenders realize it or not, this is an extension of the white privilege exercised by the American majority. We wanted the Indians' land, so we took it. We wanted to maintain our power, so we passed Jim Crow laws. We want to maintain our wealth, so we pass tax cuts for the rich.

When the trappings of white privilege start disappearing--when we actually start acting as if everyone is created equal--these people hold on to the vestiges of their power. They've lost their segregated schools and exclusive old-boys' clubs. They see brown faces everywhere: in concerts, on TV, even in the White House. So they cling desperately to the last symbols of their racial dominance, including the tomahawk chop.

For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

Below:  A related image. "White men civilized, Indian braves savage."

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