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schwilj

ASU and ATU Could Both Have New Mascots

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It's kind of interesting to see that Arkansas State University and Arkansas Tech University may both have new mascots in the next year or so...

Mascot Review Committee adopts resolution to recommend change Link

Arkansas Tech University has created a committee to review the use of Wonder Boys and Golden Suns as the university's official athletic mascots.Link

I think this is rather interesting, especially since I am an ATU grad.

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Yeah I've been seeing so many negative comments in the editorials in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. I've been contemplating whether to write something myself to try to clarify things to people. So I guess I'll use this as an opportunity. I know a lot of people are mad at having to change the mascot. But I've still been rather surprised that so few people seem to grasp the idea that many Native Americans find the whole thing offensive. Has anyone noticed most mascots tend to be animals? Seeing as how European Americans came in destroyed their culture, took their land, and treated them as sub-humans. It doesn't seem too hard to see a connection and see their culture being trivialized as being mascots for our sports. I know people say that we're actually using their names in respect. But so many seem to overlook is that from their standpoint it's still offensive. People are trying to rationalize this from a European American standpoint. Bottom line, if they find it offensive then changing it is the right thing.

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Yeah I've been seeing so many negative comments in the editorials in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. I've been contemplating whether to write something myself to try to clarify things to people. So I guess I'll use this as an opportunity. I know a lot of people are mad at having to change the mascot. But I've still been rather surprised that so few people seem to grasp the idea that many Native Americans find the whole thing offensive. Has anyone noticed most mascots tend to be animals? Seeing as how European Americans came in destroyed their culture, took their land, and treated them as sub-humans. It doesn't seem too hard to see a connection and see their culture being trivialized as being mascots for our sports. I know people say that we're actually using their names in respect. But so many seem to overlook is that from their standpoint it's still offensive. People are trying to rationalize this from a European American standpoint. Bottom line, if they find it offensive then changing it is the right thing.

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Excellent points, particularly "trivializing" their culture.

Sometimes people try to bring up the Fighting Irish (Notre Dame) or other similar mascots and say that Native Americans are just being hyper-sensitive. But it's not the same because teams like the fighting Irish are fielded predominantly by white-majority institutions, many Irish. If Japan fielded a soccer team called the Barbaric Germans, I'm pretty sure my relatives would be offended to have their culture condensed to such a trivial scale, especially by people with no connection to the culture.

In addition, the situation is exacerbated because Native American communities are extremely fragile these days, dying out, and trying to grasp on what little identity they have left. Many of this stems from the colonization era, when Native Americans were wiped out by the thousands because a foolish construction called "manifest destiny." One has to wonder (at least those with a conscience), what sort of genocide went on. The native population in South American countries is so much larger and more robust, but the native population here makes up such a weak, minute percentage. I remember reading a nonfiction book, and a Spanish aristocrat living in Bolivia remarked that they (the Spaniards) should have followed America's role and "killed" all the unruly native peoples.

Alas, History is written by the winners. Luckily the nation and Arkansas has men like Dee Brown who wrote Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

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Excellent points, particularly "trivializing" their culture.

Sometimes people try to bring up the Fighting Irish (Notre Dame) or other similar mascots and say that Native Americans are just being hyper-sensitive. But it's not the same because teams like the fighting Irish are fielded predominantly by white-majority institutions, many Irish. If Japan fielded a soccer team called the Barbaric Germans, I'm pretty sure my relatives would be offended to have their culture condensed to such a trivial scale, especially by people with no connection to the culture.

In addition, the situation is exacerbated because Native American communities are extremely fragile these days, dying out, and trying to grasp on what little identity they have left. Many of this stems from the colonization era, when Native Americans were wiped out by the thousands because a foolish construction called "manifest destiny." One has to wonder (at least those with a conscience), what sort of genocide went on. The native population in South American countries is so much larger and more robust, but the native population here makes up such a weak, minute percentage. I remember reading a nonfiction book, and a Spanish aristocrat living in Bolivia remarked that they (the Spaniards) should have followed America's role and "killed" all the unruly native peoples.

Alas, History is written by the winners. Luckily the nation and Arkansas has men like Dee Brown who wrote Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

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I don't see any problem with a change in names. The term Indian was a misnomer anyway. But I do not think the term Native American is correct either. I refer to them as Trans-Oceanic Immigrants. In the terms of history they have not been in America for very long. As far a genocide I think there was as much killing between the T-OIs as there was from post-Columbian Europeans. It has been estimated that up to 80% of the population died from European diseases. As for "manifest destiny", a product of the Democrat Party, it was late in the taking of T-OIs' land. The Eastern U.S. had already been cleared of most T-OIs by the time of "manifest destiny".

ATU could go with Teraflops.

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As a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe -- formerly the Indians, now the Warhawks -- I understand the Arkansas State situation. Sure, you hate to give up your mascot... You especially hate it when you have to because some crazy authority like the NCAA mandates it... But it's a decision whose time has come. I just hope they do as good of a job as ULM and let the university community -- students, faculty/staff *and* alumni -- help choose their new mascot.

However, what gives in Russelleville? I see nothing wrong with the Wonder Boys and the Golden Suns. Sure, the men's nickname is a little froo-froo... but it's unique to ATU. It seems that there are few new, original nicknames these days. I say stick with what you've had and how you're known. Besides, the women and men don't need the same nickname... UAM has been the Boll Weevils (men) and Cotton Blossoms (women) for years.

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