Roseburg’s School Board will consider whether to cancel their sports teams name “Indians.”
How do you evaluate the rhetoric telling us “Indians” perpetuates raciest stereotypes especially hurtful to Native Americans – because other schools name their teams after animals?
Do you know current Oregon high school sports teams include: Indians, Braves, Chieftains, Warriors, Irish, Fighting Irish, Vikings, Spartans, Celtics, Trojans, Saxons, Samurai, Scotts, Quakers, Highlanders, Knights, Axemen, Lancers, Cowboys, Cowgirls, Cheesemakers, Fishermen, Explorers, Saints, Pirates, Loggers, Pilots, Cavaliers, Raiders, Rangers, Outlaws, Mountaineers, Gladiators, Cavemen, Prospectors, Pioneers, Crusaders, Sailors, Navigators, Watchmen, Buckaroos, Techmen, Cruisers, Columbians, Millers, Boomers, Monarchs, Generals, Senators, Roughriders, Democrats, and Kingsmen.
It might occur to you the names used to represent schools are chosen for a reason. Ethnic, occupational, and warrior groups must be selected, for the most part, to bring respect or standing and in some cases to intimidate opponents.
As a resident of Roseburg School District and sports fan, I enjoy the competition between the top two wrestling programs in the state when our Roseburg Indians and the Crook County Cowboys get together. We cheer for our local Indians to defeat the Cowboys in a good-spirited match. Of course if the mascot names were reversed, we would still support our home town athletes.
Disclaimer: I have enough Indian blood to identify as Native American. In my opinion, this controversy over Roseburg High’s sports teams name is silly. We do not hear Irish, Scottish, Japanese, Greek, Italian, German or other ethnic groups complaining. They are honored.
I do not really care what we call our Roseburg High athletes, but the Roseburg School Board should resist being bullied into an expensive and heritage cancelling decision.