March 27, 2014

Research affirms harm of mascots

Critics: Redskins' Snyder misguided with foundation

By Erik BradyClinical psychologist Michael Friedman thinks Daniel Snyder is running a classic misdirection play with his newly created foundation that will give money for select American Indian causes.

Snyder said in a letter to fans of his Washington NFL team that the foundation, formally announced Tuesday, was born of his discovery that American Indians live with high rates of poverty, suicide and alcoholism.

"Racial discrimination is one of the things that perpetuates these kinds of problems," Friedman told USA TODAY Sports. "It is a false dichotomy to say Native Americans have to decide between either working on problems like poverty or being concerned about a dictionary-defined racial slur. By juxtaposing that, he seems to be trying to say that you can't do both."

Friedman's social science research shows a link between use of racial epithets such as the one he calls the R-word and the self-esteem of native peoples, which he said is precisely what's at stake with such pernicious issues as suicide and alcoholism.
Professor affirms effects of Indian mascots

By Jack RooneyStephanie Fryberg, a visiting professor of psychology at the University of Washington, presented her research Tuesday on the psychological effects of American Indian sports mascots, which affirmed these types of social representations depress the self-esteem of American Indian students.

Fryberg’s lecture, titled “From Stereotyping to Invisibility: The Psychological Consequences of Using American Indian Mascots,” highlighted several studies she and her colleagues have performed.
One of Fryberg's studies:

Of Warrior Chiefs and Indian Princesses: The Psychological Consequences of American Indian Mascots

Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Harm of Native Stereotyping: Facts and Evidence.

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