Snapshots

First Nations Continue to Be Savaged and Ravaged by Mascots – ICTMN.com

No right-wing GOP chubby-belly apologist would dare attempt to persuade civil rights activist Al Sharpton into believing that black-faced caricatures of young African Americans, clad in ripped overalls and Afros, are not disrespectful. “Wait a minute, Al. You’ve got it all wrong! We’re honoring you.”

No. If this sort of affront took place, the party would be instantly lambasted on CNN and MSNBC, and anti-discrimination organizations like the NAACP and the ACLU would slap the party so hard with racist accusations and lawsuits that even the Romneys and Bushes of the world would flee the GOP like a sinking cruise vessel in the Mediterranean.

Yet it was recently that a high school principal in Colorado attempted to persuade an American Indian mother that a stereotypical cartoon of a shirtless Indian boy sporting a loincloth and gripping a spear is not offensive—that he and his school are honoring Indian peoples with their caustic caricature. His curt comments were in response to the concerns of a Denver parent who questions the use of the school’s mascot, which she argues is distasteful and offensive.

Patricia “Pat” Pino, a member of the Laguna Pueblo Nation and a behavioral health counselor at Denver Indian Health and Family Services, said that her daughter, Abby, went with her classmates in early February to Strasburg High School in Strasburg, Colo., to participate in a Future Business Leaders of America competition. When her daughter entered the gymnasium, Pino said that Abby was immediately offended by the depiction of the Indian boy dancing around a fire.

Abby said that she began to send her mother pictures of the images via her cell phone.

“I was very, very angry,” said Abby. “I felt disrespected by the cartoon. That’s not how we look!”

Abby said that she tried to ignore the “racist images” that surrounded her, but she couldn’t. She said it wasn’t long before she succumbed to emotion.

“When I picked her up that afternoon, Abby was upset,” said Patricia. “She was so angry that she had tears. The next day when I got to work I started drafting a letter to the principal.”

According to Patricia, it took one month and a second letter to receive a response from Strasburg High School Principal Jeff Rasp. When it came, it reeked of entitlement and read like a didactic declaration:

“I have reviewed the posters and other representations of Native Americans in our school,” wrote Rasp. “I do not find the way Native Americans are portrayed to be offensive or mocking as you suggested. Our school is named to honor the native Indians who once resided here. In fact, the posters that are in every room in our building have the phrase ‘Indian Pride’ to emphasize the pride of the Native American people.”

FULL ARTICLE HERE: First Nations Continue to Be Savaged and Ravaged by Mascots – ICTMN.com.

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