November 13, 2014

Aztec mascot is violent and savage

San Diego State University's Aztec mascot hasn't been in the news lately. Apparently the school, like the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, are feeling pressure to change.

I try not to bother with minor mascot battles, but this article included a point that was too much to pass up.

Aztec for life? Possibly not

Students propose dropping Aztec Warrior and name

By Barbara Medina
The Queer People of Color Collective of SDSU submitted an official resolution to the Associated Students (AS) to get rid of the Aztec Warrior and the Aztec name in all affiliated organizations, including Aztec Shops.

The group says that using people as a mascot perpetuates racism. It refers to the Aztec Warrior that often appears at sports events and the slogan “Fear the Spear,” arguing that they portray Aztecs and Native Americans in general as savages and violent.
How is this matter even open to debate?

Think about it. You have Lions and Tigers and Bears; Vikings and Pirates and Raiders. But unlike every other team, the Redskins, Chiefs, Braves, and Aztecs are supposed to represent pride and honor?

No, they're about violence and savagery. Exactly like a predatory beast or ethnic group or occupation. They're about destroying one's enemies--figuratively killing and scalping them.

That's why no one has had or will ever have a modern-day Native mascot in a suit and tie. Modern-day Natives represent the same pride and honor, but they don't represent violence or savagery. And that's what teams are looking for: a spearchucker or tomahawk wielder to strike fear into the hearts of opponents.

You can see this in the old fight song and mascot images. You can see it in the fans dressed up as redfaced savages. There isn't even a legitimate counterargument here--not one consistent with the facts. Indian mascots = violence and savagery.

In fact, I'd love to hear a sports fan say, "We share the values of the Wolverines, Hornets, or Diamondbacks." Most animals don't have values, obviously. They're just dumb beasts.

Below:  A savage, bloodthirsty Aztec warrior mascot.

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