As a 1985 alumni and parent of Roseburg High School students, I have always felt pride in being a Roseburg Indian.

In no way is a mascot supposed to be a derogatory thing, quite the opposite it’s meant to honor the icon as something we respect and cherish. This issue has been vetted, adjusted and given the blessings of the Umpqua Band of the Cow Creek Indians.

I’ve followed this issue closely over the years and the feelings expressed by a huge number of former students. Overwhelmingly they have expressed pride in being a Roseburg Indian and see the issue being once again discussed by the board as a disservice to the wishes of the vast majority of alumni.

Many feel disenfranchised by this and have themselves begun to lose faith that their opinion even matters to the district. In a time when unity is desperately needed in this country, the changing of our carefully evolved mascot will further divide our city and draw lines in a community that needs to work together, not be further forced apart.

Philip Nash

Roseburg

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(6) comments

NJ

Philip? You mean you were a Roseburg Indian for a short period of time a long time ago. And a mascot discussion has nothing to do with the division created by a criminal president who indoctrinated people to his big lie that people needed to be divided in hate so he could become a dictator. It is the reality only his mind will let him live in and he expects others to live in that mentally compromised reality too. There's no comparison between the two, only you trying to make more of it because you were a Roseburg Indian for a short period of time a long time ago.

Rise722

I must be and Old Native American, because I don't find the names offensive - such as Roseburg Indians, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, Golden State Warriors, etc. I grew up with the adage..."sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." It's worked so far...and I'm over 70.

smedleyb

Some in the county will be angry for awhile then the whole thing will be in the rear view mirror. I can guarantee this.

When I was in my first year of High School I went to a school that had fierce pride towards the school. The school was incredibly old and the following year we went to the newly built school. The school paired us with our number one rival. Former school pride was strong on both sides and it was getting ugly. Two days into the new year the principal marched the whole school onto the football field. He basically said this is our school now and deal with it although he didn't say it quite that nicely.

After that there was no more talk of the 2 previous schools. I never heard another word about it. People will get over it. They'll whine a little and then find something else to complain about. Remember complaining is one of the two international languages.

CitizenJoe

"Changing mascot will only divide our community."

Other things that divided communities:

Abolishing slavery

Ending the "Divine Right" of kings.

Women's suffrage.

Universal suffrage.

Civil rights.

The New Deal.

Medicare.

Obamacare.

Vaccines (from Onesimus, to Jenner, to that #$%^ Robert F Kennedy Jr., to Gardisil, and beyond....)

---and, heck: merely electing Obama

The Dress. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress)

On every one of these (except the dress), and other issues, division has been worth it, to achieve progress. I think that eliminating a racist, demeaning symbol that psychologists agree has a negative effect on kids, is worth the division. Maybe you don't think the kids are worth it.

The dress is gold and white. Otherwise, the terrorists win.

cipherself

Well said, CitizenJoe. Mr. Nash should consider that it is not intent but impact that matters here. Mr. Nash and those who "take pride" in the mascot name should consider that it is not intent but impact that matters here. And the impact on young Indigenous American student is negative. Their pride in their heritage trumps Mr. Nash's pride in a high school mascot.

CitizenJoe

cipherself: that is a critical point you make: it's consequence rather than intent that really matters. Decent people of good heart can wind up doing hurtful things. It would be wrong--and I'm looking in the mirror, here--to condemn the individual rather than the act, in many cases; this is likely one of those.

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