The 1939 edition of the Roseburg High School “UMPQUA” featured a handsome image of a Native American on its cover. Everyone was proud of it. I visited the Roseburg headquarters of Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians last Wednesday and was told the Tribe has no objection. The complaints were from a few individuals.

Complaints didn't start until a few years ago when the “Politically Correct” movement came in to being. Our MASCOT image was changed to a “Feather”. That did not stop the complaints. Do you really believe that eliminating our MASCOT is going to satisfy them? I don't! They will find something else to complain about. It is a matter of control. They want to change our history!

In Ralph Buell's geometry class in 1950, he would reassign our seating each week, based upon how well we did in class. Those in the top moved to the right rear of the class room. Richard Duvall and I used to compete for that seat. It was a means of motivation. Several years ago a RHS math teacher told me she could not even post class grades on the bulletin board as it might offend certain students.

I never even made the Ag Honor Roll in high school until my senior year (class of 1952) when I took Daphne Riffe's college prep English class. She convinced me that if I took a book home at night, I should open it and study. She brought me all the way up to the high school honor roll. Had it not been for teachers like Ralph Buell, Daphne Riffe and Homer Grow, I probably would not have made it through college.

I hope the board considers the motive behind eliminating our mascot. What will it solve? Wouldn't it be like taking an aspirin to cure a hangover?

Bill Riley


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(3) comments


Joe, I wonder if that 1918 version with the peace pipe was to placate white people's racism, or to placate the tribe who may not have appreciated white people's racism? It is more accurate caricature than the more cartoonish one it's evolved into currently.


I would love to see that 1939 cover. Earlier versions of the mascot are utterly unflattering.


Bill Riley: Aspirin is good for a lot of things, from stroke and cardiac risk reduction in adults to treatment of Kawasaki disease in children.

Anti-racism is good for children and adults, as well. It will alleviate a lot of societal headaches, including the hangovers we have from genocides, slavery, Jim Crow, and other historic toxicities.

Take your medicine.

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