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Pride or Prejudice?

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 4:  Protestors voice their opinion about Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo outside Progressive Field prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins on April 4, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 4: Protestors voice their opinion about Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo outside Progressive Field prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins on April 4, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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        Controversy over Native American rights bring up poignant questions that Americans have ignored in the past. A current question being asked involves the usage of Native Americans as mascots. Does it honor the culture or is it just a racist part of America’s past that needs to change? When settlers first arrived in America, there were tensions between the new arrivals and the native people. This tension continues to this day. One would think that after 500 years there would be a change, but even now we have Native Americans with bright red skin wearing feathers representing sports teams. Is this honor? As some may know, students read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie during freshman year at Washburn. It is about a real experience of a teenage boy who lives on an Indian Reservation. He goes to a predominantly white high school off the reservation in hopes that he will  be given better opportunities and a future. It is a funny book and a good story about culture but it also discusses many deeper issues like poverty and racism that remain huge problems today. With accurate portrayals of Native Americans, such as the characters in this book, we can be knowledgeable and confront the inequalities that other cultures and ethnicities face to this day. This is the first step to changing our past attitudes so that in the future we can respect other cultures and learn from them.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/12/us/redskins-controversy/

Protesters Call For Indians To Change Nickname, Logo: ‘We Are People, Not Your Mascots’

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Pride or Prejudice?