Agrees with Kitzhaber veto
Gov. Kitzhaber got it right when he vetoed Senate Bill 215, the mascot bill. Sen. Jeff Kruse has worked tirelessly on this issue and for this, all Roseburg Indian fans should be grateful.
For most voters, the mascot issue may seem frivolous. I must admit, however, for many, high school and college mascots seem sacrosanct. Imagine if the Fighting Irish was slated to be changed to the Four Leaf Clovers! So we all owe Sen. Kruse a bit of gratitude for his effort to save Roseburg High School’s proud tradition.
But consider this: Gov. Kitzhaber must act in the interests of all people and across America, the use of Native American mascot names is controversial. Native Americans themselves are divided on this issue. Some embrace Native mascots with a sense of pride; others see it as a symbol of institutional racism.
Gov. Kitzhaber likes the idea of using specific tribal names as mascots. For example, the Florida Seminoles, the Illinois Illini or the Utah Utes are all acceptable mascot names under the governor’s guidelines. In the spirit of loyalty, wouldn’t the “Umpquas,” as in Umpqua Indians, be a great mascot name to bring specific pride to Roseburg High School’s students and alumni? We are all uplifted by the rich heritage here along the two Umpqua Rivers, Native and Anglo alike.
So I thank Sen. Kruse for his genuine and sincere efforts. Nevertheless, I believe Gov. Kitzhaber got it right this time.