#NotYourMascot

It is time to end racism in sports mascots.

“#NotYourMascot” | acrylic on canvas | 40″ x 30″ | 2014

#NotYourMascot

Although it may seem to many that the Native American mascot argument is a fresh fight, it is not. It is beginning to trend now, only because the fight has been going on for decades. It is trending now because awareness has been spreading, for decades. This movement needs to surpass the boundaries of a trend, though, and sustain, until racism in sports is eradicated.

A great and growing number of Americans are speaking out on this issue. People are realizing that the Washington Redsk*ns name and logo is completely racist. It only takes a moment to look into the pages of a dictionary to learn that “redskins” is a dictionary defined term. The argument for changing the name and removing racist mascots is steeped in truth and justice.

However, resistance to change exists; from the top of the Washington Redsk*ns organization to the loyal fan. We hear rebuttals such as, “Get over it. It’s just a name. There are bigger issues to worry about in Indian Country.” Etc., etc.

We will never “get over it.” I saw  a meme on September 11, which had a picture of American soldiers standing around an open mass burial pit, full of Native American bodies. The text said, “White people be like ‘9/11 NEVER FORGET’, toward the genocide of Native Americans, they be like ‘GET OVER IT'” This meme, I believe, captures an interesting point. Would we tell Jewish folks to just “get over it” in regards to the Holocaust?

Never Forget

 

When people say, “It’s just a name” or “it’s not that big of a deal,” I find myself replying, “Then it shouldn’t be hard to change the name.” The judgement in that particular rebuttal is disturbing; it diminishes the voice and concerns of our people. Perhaps to them, it is just a name, and they can’t see the larger picture, how this mascot issue is tied into a much larger web of social injustice and racism that we are up against.

When people say, “There are bigger problems to worry about in Indian Country”, they fail to see that this mascot issue is tied to several of those “bigger” issues. There are masses of people working toward fixing those other “bigger” issues, many of whom are also working on changing the name.

Personally, I believe that it is long over due for racist mascots, names, and logos to come to an end. These teams claim to “honor” Native American people. If that’s true, then truly honor us. Listen to us. #changethename #notyourmascot

Bunky Echo-Hawk

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  • Not a Real Person

    Or we could make a team called Tennessee Trailer Trash, just saying.

  • Najsi

    Such a wonderful article and great painting with a strong message.

  • Undercover Mother

    LOVE your work. You’re on the money. As a Black woman, I TOTALLY can relate to the double standard when it comes to “America”. We pick & choose who we “allow” to forget as well as “remember”. It looks as if those ethnic groups that have been allowed to carve out an economic foothold in the US are “allowed” to remember. Those who are thought of as having no value, we’re told “get over it.” I don’t mean any racial disrespect towards any group as a result of this statement. Godspeed …

  • Featherfoot-Blackfoot

    This is fantastic and very thought provoking! You have been blessed with an amazing talent one whom our ancestors would be proud of. Speak, teach, and live your life in a way that carries on tradition and value to our people.

  • Kip Monoessy

    You are so very right I have been working on awareness of Racism in the Sports and Media for decades with the late RIP Michael Haney any many others I beleive Charlene Teaters is the current chair that organization. Thanks for sharing awareness message loud n clear.