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American Indian sports mascots are wrong, m’kay?

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On August 5, the NCAA voted to ban college ball teams from using American Indian mascots that they would decide are “hostile or abusive” images, which would include at least 18 universities. Florida State’s Seminole and Illinois’ Illini were among those definitely deemed offensive and in need of ethnic cleansing. Note that this ban theoretically specifically covers only postseason tournaments, as the NCAA unfortunately does not have authority yet to completely dictate the running of colleges across the nation.

Alas, they have now backed off of Florida State University and their Seminoles, on the grounds that two Seminole tribal groups have formally endorsed the mascot.

Giving in to these Seminole groups is wrong, because for one thing, we are all just alike. There are no characteristic behavioral differences between American Indians, Negroes, Asians or Caucasians based on nature or nurture. Men and women are just alike. Homosexuals and heterosexuals act exactly the same. Christians, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists think and act just the same. We are all individuals independently thinking exactly the same. If you can’t grasp this truth, then you need some re-education.

Blogcritic Gypsyman has a thoughtful new essay supporting this ban, and supporting our manifest destiny of ending the use of Indian mascots.

I’m with Gypsyman- it’s time to do away with this archetype of the noble Indian warrior. We in the United States have worked for centuries to turn the native Americans into gelded girlymen like this Sherman Alexie that he cites, or the rest of the way to being wholly dependent infants in their reservation play pens nursing bottles of the hooch.

Thus we should certainly ignore the illegitimate protests of such folks as the dreaded self-described Comanche “savage” Bad Eagle David Yeagley, who says “Mascots provide an opportunity to re-educate America, as well as Indians, on the virtues of being a man.” Indeed, he takes his ingratitude further in denouncing the efforts of decent right-thinking progressives:

A mascot is a thing, not a real person. Therefore, the Indian is insulted by any image not expressing his full humanity.

But this is a diabolic facade.

It’s the Left that wants Indians to have low self-esteem. The Left needs “victims” to show their compassion, to disguise their political subversion of America.

It’s racism, and it’s far more degrading than being called a “warrior.”

Leftists, keep your compassion. Call me savage!

This is SO wrong. We need to quit reminding Native Americans that they come from fighting stock, tough people who could get along without the white man or liberal college professors. American Indians were never warriors who could stand up and fight back, m’kay? We didn’t go to all the bother of running them through the Trail of Tears just to let their descendents be reminded forevermore that they came from tribes of real men.

We are all individuals independently thinking and acting exactly the same, and we’ll not be having anyone falsely pretending otherwise.

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  • RJ

    Great post! 🙂

    BTW, I’m part Irish, and those filthy, hate-filled bastards at Notre Dame better stop using vile stereotypes to marginalize me! :-/

  • MCH

    Why Bobby? Their nickname is the “FIGHTING Irish,” not the “CHICKENHAWK Irish.”

  • Thanks, RJ.

    MCH, “chickenhawk” is now on the BC banned list, being monitored by Shark. I’ll turn him loose on ya. Think I won’t?

  • RogerMDillion

    funny comment, MCH

  • RJ

    Yeah, MCH is hilarious, if you are the type who keeps laughing at the same joke over and over and over and over and over again…

  • Good humor can certainly be hostile, but it still requires wit. Mere hatefulness does not constitute a joke, let alone a funny one. Try again, MCH.

  • Al.

    Disapointing. It seem I have been giving you more credit than I should have. I’ve liked your intellagent criticisms of my posts, and your teasing, in the past. Here though it borders on offensive.

    You probablly don’t care what this “pinko” has to say, so I won’t bother except, that you can’t call a public figure girlyman in print. That’s insulting and derogatory. That should be gotten rid of before anyone sees it who cares.

    Two I don’t know many people from the U.S of native blood, save for one man. He was an Ogala, who moved here because he was tired of being called prarie nigger. Or drunk and on welfare.

    Native people continue to honour “warriors” as part of their tradition, but I think in a way that would be unrecognised by most non natives.

    At every Pow-Wow I’ve been too there is always a Vetran’s Flag(Usually the M.I.A Flag)to honour those who fought in died in such battles as Wounded KneeCreek, World Wars 1+2, Korea, Vietnam, Wounded Knee occupation, The gulf, Oka, and the battle with booze and alcohol.

    An elder I knew teachs that the sign of a real warrior is a person who thinks about caring for his family. That means instead of going out and slaving to make tons of money, or drinking in bars, or bashing in heads with a tomahawk they care for the hearts of their families instead. A warrior is a fighter for spirit not military prowness.

    In the old days, i’ve been tole, war parties were only sent out on approval of the women’s council. It sounds like the men were just getting in the way, and the woman would say, get out and come back when you’ve worked off some of that excess testosterone.

    Of course the Iroquois had Lacross for that.

    Ah well
    hoping for better from you Al

  • RogerMDillion

    What a shock! The butt of the joke doesn’t find it funny. And it’s not just that he called you “chickenhawk”, but the way it was inserted into the conversation.

    “Good humor can certainly be hostile, but it still requires wit.”

    Please paste that on your monitor and read before beginning your next “satire”.

  • Gypsyman gives Anthony Grande a run for his money:

    “i’ve been tole”

    By declaring that in a previous life he was a highly collectible piece of painted pottery.


  • Shark

    Gypsy, lighten up. If this is slander, everything I write can be banned.

    It’s intended as Satire — and probably rates about a 5 on Shark’s Satire Effectiveness Scale [from 1 to 10] — only because I’m not sure Al made his point too clearly.

    (“We are all just alike” is not a theme I would have pursued; there’s a lot more humor/profound social comment available along other lines, but hey, to each his own…)

    BEST PART: the quotes from [doh!] Bad Eagle — who reminds me that a paleface should NEVER attempt to speak for an Indian — and that there are many different ‘opinions’ among indians.

    PS: Given a choice, Shark would prefer to play on a team “The Peyote Eaters”

  • Shark


    “In place of the now-banned “chickenhawk”, we suggest you use:

    a) domesticated barnyard militarist
    b) A…HOL [Absent (without leave, but…) Hard On Liberals]
    c) cowardly heroes
    d) fowl-like fighters
    e) cock-a-doodle-dicks”

    Hope that helps.

  • Shark

    Speaking of banned words, Big Al, if memory serves, I believe “gorrilla” and “breast” can’t be used in the same sentence.


  • Apparently “satire” in this case is “say the opposite of what you mean.”

    Even if I agree with the point of it, it’s not clear to me so I’m gonna have to give this piece the big thumb down, which may be considered “hostile and abusive,” but once the postseason rolls around I won’t do it anymore.

  • Eric Olsen

    it’s Opposite Day, just ask Squidward Tentacles

  • Gypsyman, sorry you don’t like my outlook here, but I meant it and it stands. And why can’t I call a girlyman a girlyman? It’s derogatory, but it’s not gratuitous. If he doesn’t want to be called a girlyman, then he shouldn’t be whining like one.

    “Gelded girlyman” was a reasonably mild term for what I took from this guy. He doesn’t feel like a warrior, or even macho to be climbing the mountains and other rugged non-violent stuff, therefore it is illegitimate and any symbol of it should be abandoned.

    Alexie appears to think that his alienation from the warrior spirit means that everyone should be expected to abandon it. That’s certainly your point in quoting him. When his personal issues are offered as the basis of public policy, then HE has chosen to make them a public issue.

    Hell no, I say. From the other side, I’m not that macho. I’m not out roping cows and branding steers, but I can take cowboys for symbolism and not be offended, and call for doing away with the symbolism.

    I’m obviously not saying that just going on a testosterone binge and killing everything in site is what we’re aiming for. It is certainly one of the top functions of womanhood to civilize men, and reign in their excesses. That’s great.

    Yes, taking care of the family is right at the top of the list of values. Fighting for your family may literally take the necessary form of going to war against bad white guys or Islamic jihadists who are trying to hurt you. Hopefully you’ll be blessed to not be in that necessary position.

    There seem to be a couple of basic competing images, archetypes you might say, or “stereotypes” if you want to try to delegitimize them. Choosing to find them “offensive” does not alter the realities, however.

    A Native American can see and identify with the image of brave warrior ancestors willing and able to take on the world. That’s a largely positive and proud image which you can take as inspiration as you try to achieve something.

    Or instead, you can look at your heritage more as helpless victims, drunk on the reservation, dependent on the pity of good liberals. Which image is better, nobler and more likely to produce successful, happy people?

    And what kind of compassion or true concern would cause people to want to squelch that warrior spirit?

    Gypsyman, I do in fact care what you have to say, as evidenced by the fact that I wrote about it in the first place, and that I’m trying to answer your concerns here. By the way, I think I pretty clearly used “pinko” as a term of endearment. If I were actually upset with you, I wouldn’t be speaking so flippantly.

    The bottom line under all this is that although both are necessary as yin and yang, I value strength and achievement more than empathy and compassion. It’s good that Mommy’s there to nurse your wounded knee, but carrying on about it not only won’t get you back up on that bike, but at some point actively makes you less likely to do so.

    In short, you’re not doing Native Americans any kind of favor by trying to ban the symbols of their glory. I have trouble understanding how anyone could NOT see that.

  • You’re all such ignorant children.

    That is all.

  • MCH

    Re #15;

    It is interesting how some white men feel that it’s their divine right to tell the red man what he should and shouldn’t be offended by.

  • Shark, I’ll take your 5/10 satire rating as a pretty fair success. It’s higher than I’ve seen you rate any other such thing at Blogcritics.

    The “we are all just alike” thing may or may not be the most promising humor angle of this, but it is the part that is most personally annoying to me. Basically, anytime you grant any idea that there are significant cultural or behavioral differences between groups, then you invite being bludgeoned with the “bigotry” or “racism” clubs.

    Certain types of left wingers are ready to lead a lynch mob against any recognition of group differences by anyone who disagrees. Even saying something unequivocally positive about an ethnic group is some evil insult that’s just a step away from ethnic cleansing.

    Of course this standard doesn’t apply to compassionate liberals. They can bitch about evil religious folks, or turn on the sob sister stuff to explain how the pathologies of some or other group are the fault of rich white guys, or rural rednecks, or whoever is their designated goat.

  • This just in

    The NCAA has ruled that comment No. 17, with its use of the phrase “red man,” is considered hostile and abusive and is banned from postseason blogging.

    You have until Feb. 1 to appeal this ruling.

  • Off with his head, I say.

  • El Bicho

    “I believe “gorrilla” and “breast” can’t be used in the same sentence.”

    Then I guess I can’t write about the delicious sandwich I had today at Burger King Kong.

    PS I believe “nest egg” has been banned.

  • RogerMDillion

    Are your comments meant to be satire I’ll leave off the obvious foolishness of a whiteman telling Indians what they should and should not be offended by.

    “A Native American can see and identify with the image of brave warrior ancestors willing and able to take on the world.”

    Yes, because we know many brave warriors danced after touchdowns were scored.

    “a largely positive and proud image which you can take as inspiration as you try to achieve something.”

    What is there to be positive and proud about? All the warriors got their asses handed to them by the white man.

    “In short, you’re not doing Native Americans any kind of favor by trying to ban the symbols of their glory.”

    Please show me one Indian that thinks Chief Wahoo is a symbol of their glory?

    If tribes have relationships with schools and they are fine with the mascot, that’s fine by me, but if not, then I’ll all for the removal of the ridiculous mascots, but do it or don’t. This half-ass solution of having it only apply to the post season is ridiculous.

  • I’m already bored with this nonsense about how I’m “the white man telling the Indian what to be offended by.” What you mean is to hand some open veto power if anyone decides to be offended by anything, then it should be banned.

    This is patent nonsense. I’ll tell anybody up and down the block what I think they should or shouldn’t be offended by, if I see truth. They may still choose to be offended by whatever they want- but if it’s foolishness then I’m going to disregard.

    Plus, of course there is the question of what most American Indians do or don’t think. We can each find some who agree with us, as they are individuals capable of different ways of looking at it.

    But of course I don’t presume to speak for red folk any more than I presume to speak for white folk. I speak only for myself.

  • Shark

    Big Al: “…A Native American can see and identify with the image of brave warrior ancestors willing and able to take on the world.”

    Me see cartoon characters wearing silly costumes. What me missing, Large Albino Man?

    Big Al: “Or …you can look at your heritage more as helpless victims, drunk on the reservation, dependent on the pity of good liberals.”

    Me detect “excluded middle” aka “false dichotomy”. Your tongue forked only in two ways, Translucent Visage?

    Big Al: “…Which image is better, nobler and more likely to produce successful, happy people?”

    Me think image ain’t caca compared to education, decent jobs, and above minimum wampum.

    What you say to that, Snow Face?

  • RogerMDillion

    That’s only fair; we’ve been bored with your attemtpts at satire.

  • I doubt that Roger. If you were bored, you just wouldn’t read them, and you’d be off to something else. You are obviously interested enough to read and comment.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Homosexuals and heterosexuals act exactly the same.”

    No, they don’t all. Heterosexuals don’t look to their same gender for sexual gratification. Homosexuals do.

    Therein lies the difference.

    C’mon, even for a politician, you should know better. And btw, if you are born in the United States, you are a native American. Did you know that there are Indians that hate the erroneous “native American” label? They know it’s stupid and politically correct.

  • Mark The Sane And Sensible And Missing The Joke

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Sorry, I didn’t know Al Barger as a jokester. I thought he was a libertarian.

  • Shark

    Mark the Sane and Sensible and Continuing to BE the Joke.

  • MCH

    Mark the Insane;

    Actually “Indian” is even a bigger misnomer, Columbus thinking he had landed in India.

  • Dan

    love this post Al!

    I follow Fl. St., and my tomahawk chop is a solemn, and respectful thing. It’s a tribute, of course. No one’s ever accused American Indians of being cowards. Vanquished? yes. But the valorous spirit is what football teams aspire to.

  • Speaking ex cathedra (on accounta my heritage of 1/16 Canadian Indian), I’d MUCH rather be represented by Chief Wahoo than Mark the Spare and Sensitive…

  • RJ

    Hmm. A buddy of mine was once given a stern lecture by three Native American academics about how “Indian” was both offensive and baseless, while “Native American” was the PC-approved term.

    I mean, they ain’t “Indians” at all; people from INDIA are Indians.

    So, the other option is Native American, right? Or is there a third (or fourth) option?

  • Duane

    I’m 1/2 Norwegian, and I am deeply offended by the image given to my ancestors by the Minnesota Vikings.

    From their website:

    “Bert Rose, the first general manager of the Minnesota team that began NFL play in 1961, selected the Vikings name because so many people in Minnesota and the surrounding area traced their heritage to Scandinavia (what is now Denmark, Norway, and Sweden).”

    There are millions of us in America, although we are obviously a minority.

    Fact is, most Norseman were not Vikings. As a 1/2 descendant of Norsemen, I would much rather see my people symbolized by something more appropriate to a true Norseman, say, a reindeer-herder or a proud and masculine herring fisherman.

    The Vikings logo is a profile shot of a blond-headed, iron-jawed, big-shouldered bruiser wearing a helmet with horns — you know, a stereotypical Viking in a stereotypical Viking helmet. Hardly a getup that would pass muster in the corporate boardroom, right? Another painful stereotype being promulgated is that all Scandinavians are blond. How are the non-blondes supposed to feel about this gross misrepresentation? You can imagine the looks I get when people find out I’m 1/2 Norwegian. They get all wide-eyed and fearful like I might start raping and pillaging at the drop of a hat — or a skull helmet, rather. And some of them seem surprised that I don’t have a beard, and that I shower regularly. You know how this hurts?

    From the same website:

    “The logo depicts the fierce warrior from Scandinavia. The people of the era and who lived there referred to the warriors as Norsemen, or Northmen.”

    Warrior! Did you get that? How wrongheaded it is to compare with warriors a group of heavily-muscled men who engage in high-speed collisions with 280-pound behemoths for a living! Football is a game in which physical strength and coordination are used by a group of helmeted men working with a common strategy to gain territory from an opposing force. By contrast, actual Norse Vikings were merely a bunch of physically intimidating guys with horned helmets using a common strategy to steal territory from an opposing force.

    When is the Minnesota franchise going to join the rest of us in the 21st Century? All I’m asking for is a little sensitivity to go along with all that head bashing hamstring pulling iron pumping tackle breaking quarterback sacking passer roughing clipping holding facemasking 40 meter windsprinting football spiking mayhem.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Actually “Indian” is even a bigger misnomer, Columbus thinking he had landed in India.”

    So what? We’ve always called them that and there’s no reason to change because a minority of whiners complain about it.

    Indigenous tribes of South and Central Americans are still called Indians and white people in those regions aren’t calling them Central or South Native Americans.

    If you are born in this country you are a native American, by the strict definition of native.

  • Shark

    Dan: “No one’s ever accused American Indians of being cowards. Vanquished? yes. But the valorous spirit is what football teams aspire to.”

    That’s true.

    The Dallas Cowboys mascot is a cracker redneck bearing a blanket covered in smallpox — waving a picture postcard of a few million bison skeletons scattered across the plains.

  • Shark

    (Dear Mark the Insane and Barely Sensible: Dude, you have the IQ of a fuckin’ retarded amoeba. I find it amazing that you can type.)

    PS: Don’t you have to go to a meeting with your probabtion officer or sumthin’?


  • Bunny

    Marky Mark, Ignore the Shark. He only insults when he knows he’s not in the majority for the thread.

    If the Seminole Tribe of Florida, or whatever the organization is called, filed a petition with the Florida State University to drop the mascot, I’d say drop it. They haven’t. The truth of this nonsense is that the NCAA is trying to play PC. The politcal drive to change the mascot rules comes predominately from White Folk.

    If any mascot should be banned, its the South Carolina Gamecock. That is an illegal activity.

  • The one on the “hostile and abusive list” that makes the sense is the Southern Oklahoma State University Savages. That’s the most derogatory term out there.

    But then a Choctaw tribe chief came out and said he was OK with the name. He has a degree from there. Now I don’t know what to think.

  • This is an idiotic, hopeless conversation by people of a similar character.

    That is all.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Bunny: I already know Shark is a left wing moron because disallowing yourself to be manipulated by their tactical weapons of guilt, empathy, or sympathy mongering when discussing a social issue drives them batty.

  • Empathy and sympathy mongering are the greatest evils in the world, aren’t they Mark? After all social issues aren’t about SOCIETY or human relationships, they’re about the virtue of selfishness and my own investment in my fears and insecurities about the world that I’m going to project onto people who look and talk differently.

    Why can’t everyone just learn to embrace the cruelty and suffering in the world and learn to hurt, demean, and disregard the thoughts and feelings of others completely? The world would be so much better off if all people who are suffering, poor, handicapped, foreign, or otherwise different would just roll over and take it and embrace what we have to say about THEM. If they don’t like it, they should have fought harder. Oh my god, you killed Kenny!

    Oh, and praise Jesus that the minorities and gays aren’t running the country yet. Jesus had his funny moments when he was rambling about guilt, empathy, and suffering, but other than that he, was a righteous and alright dude and my personal Savior.

    That is all.

  • Out of curiosity, why is it the most irrational, emotional, hateful, rabid people who always claim to be speaking “rationally” without involving their emotions? Is it a conscious thing because they know they’re emotional and irrational? Anyone who read this entire discussion would find your claims of being “logical” or “reasonable” laughable.

    Do you make it a practice to “disallow” your limited intellect as well?

    That is all.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    What’s all this bullshit about Jesus? Isn’t he an outfielder for the Mets? Drafted out of the Dominican Republic, I believe.

    “most irrational, emotional, hateful, rabid people”

    You’ve just described 99% of blogcritics.org, although they pretend to be nice to one another.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Oh my god, you killed Kenny!”

    People still remember that show? Wow. It was funny for a few minutes in 1998.

  • It’s the basis for your buddy Al Barger’s entire worldview and politics.

    That is all.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Mark the Sane and Sensible and Continuing to BE the Joke.”

    I’m happy that I lack your vanity and self-importance. I would rather attack bloggers than join their ranks.

    Blogging is to 2005 what CB radio was to 1975.

    So suck on that, Sharkie.

  • I got news for you, MSS….

    Your hands be soaking in it RIGHT NOW.

    And deep.

  • Mr Berlin, that was really cute. I’m having images of this crazed Viking MSS with his hands soaking in the dish soap.

  • Sophia

    I agree with Bob A. blooy!
    Right on brother from another mother!

  • I just want to know when we’re getting rid of those racist Fighting Irish and Celtic teams. Forget those newcomers from Africa. We’ve suffered thousands of years of genocide, oppression and economic exploitation. In this country our people have been ghettoized and persecuted and compared to monkeys because of our tribal culture. It’s time for it to stop!


  • I wonder how monkeys would feel about being denigrated like this, accused of being lower than the Irish.

    Duke, Legendary Monkey- that’s your cue…

  • I know you Nobel Prize winners think you’re joking innocently, but the context of Vox’s joke was him mocking and trivializing the racism that blacks in this country have faced through a really dumb analogy:

    “Forget those newcomers from Africa. We’ve suffered thousands of years of genocide, oppression and economic exploitation. In this country our people have been ghettoized and persecuted and compared to monkeys because of our tribal culture.”

    I would think twice about joking about referring to races as “monkeys” if I were you, boys. It’s disrespectful to people who face real racism based on being called those hateful words.

    And it shows your ignorance more than that. British writers and the British newspapers of the 19th Century often lampooned the Irish as apes or monkeys in drawings and fiction as part of the discrimination and violence against the Irish during the time. All hilarious stuff, right?

    That is all.

  • Kathy Miranda

    It only takes two eyes to see we’re all different. It’s a shame no one ever told you it’s not right to make fun of other people or taught you how to show respect for other human beings though. If your mother didn’t teach it to you, I’m not about to start.

    It’s a real shame that BadEagle has no consideration, respect or love for his own people. He only cares about himself and wants everyone to worship him. If you want to be a lemming and worship him, be my guest. Apparently you’re too weak to stand on your own two feet and be a real human being.

  • Real Ndigenous

    I am not “Native American” – anybody who was born on this continent becomes “Native”. I am a First Nation, Indigenous Person. But I do not have buck teeth or bloody red tomahawk. What I do have is 500 years of genocide and racism.

    And too many years of pain and intolerance by those who embrace their ignorance as truth. When the Europeans landed upon our shores we did not know distrust to this level.

    But your attempts at assimilation have gone better than you thought. Why for many years, our young people were taken from us and raised in white homes. But you can’t totally kill the spirit of an Indian. Know why? Because we are one people, despite our differances. We hear the beat of the drum that calls us back to the circle.

    The white people justify their racism. In reality they embrace their ignorance and brutality. We never broke a treaty, and with few exceptions we never started the fight.

    Let’s keep those mascots going… images of propaganda… I’m still waiting for the Washington Negroes….

  • Dear Ndigenous- I apologize on behalf of whitey. These warrior mascots represent stereotypes that obviously do not apply to you. Clearly, you’re not a fierce warrior, but a poor helpless victim. Sorry for the misrepresentation.

  • My new school mascot is the Drunken Wife Beating Irishman – the NCAA has no problem with that, right? We’re looking forward to our upcoming game against the Slack-Jawed Braindead Pollacks.


  • Correct, but not nearly as offensive as the iPod Shuffling Fontcrafters.