Should ALL Native American Mascots be BANNED? | Decoded | MTV News


– Ever wonder what’s wrong
with Native American mascots? Pretty much everything. (electronic music) So there are a ton of
major league sports teams with Native American mascots,
but they’re not the only ones. Across the U.S. and
Canada, there are actually 2,128 high school, college,
and professional teams with Native American names and nicknames. Braves, Chiefs, Indians,
Orangemen, Redmen, Reds, Redskins, Savages, Warriors, Apaches, Aztecs, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Chippewas, Mohawks, Mohicans,
Seminoles, and Sioux, and that is not even
close to all of the names. And no matter how you slice it, these mascots are super racist,
and they should be banned. But football is important. We are honoring Native Americans. Honor? Redskins is not a compliment. It’s a textbook racial slur. The U.S. patent office even cancelled the Washington Redskins’ trademark because we don’t trademark racial slurs. And it’s not just the Redskins. Most of these team names do nothing to honor actual Native American
heritage or traditions. Think about it this way. If someone broke into your
grandma’s nursing home and then killed her, I don’t think putting her
grinning face on a hockey jersey would be such an honor. And these mascots are a textbook example of cultural appropriation. Many of these teams have been
around since the 20s and 30s. Meanwhile, Native Americans
didn’t earn the right to legally practice their
religions in the U.S. until 1978. So for a long time, dressing
up as a Native person was okay, but actually being a Native person and practicing your own
religion wasn’t okay. In fact, many activists and
councils have frequently vocalized their frustration
with these names and mascots. Still don’t believe me? Why don’t we ask a Native American? (flute music) – Oh, hello. I’m not your stereotypical Indian. This is the 21st century, and nowadays, see, the
problem with America is that we’re looked at
as people of the past, and we’re not people of the past. We live here with you. We’re doctors, we’re
lawyers, we’re rappers, we’re people that are
living in the here and now. And mascots keep us in the past. It reminds us that they were there. They were there. That
was America’s time then. But in reality, we’re all around. America, we are not your mascots. But sports are about fun, and all that other stuff is in the past. It’s so depressing. Actually, Native American
communities today are still dealing with the
consequences of our nation’s past. These mascots shape how people
perceive Native Americans, especially for people
with little or no exposure to real indigenous people. Let’s look at the ever
popular warrior stereotype. Now, throughout history, this
idea that Native Americans were violent and warlike
were used to justify “civilizing the savages”
by forcing Native Americans to assimilate to whiteness. Research also shows that these mascots contribute to low self-esteem
in Native American children and young adults. Representation matters, folks. We took your land, forced you out of your home,
killed off your family, and tried to strip you of your culture, but here’s a hat. Go team! We have packed and repackaged
the idea of Native Amerians to the point that they’re
basically folklore. From Peter Pan to dancing with wolves in sexy Native American costumes, today the average
American knows more about pretend Native people than the real ones. So what’s the solution? Well, it’s pretty obvious
and actually not that hard. Listen to members of the
Native American community. Hundreds of tribes and organizations, including the National
Congress of American Indians, are demanding that these
names and mascots be changed. And schools like Dartmouth,
Stanford, Seattle University, and Arkansas State
prove that a name change isn’t the end of the world. Oh, mom! They changed the mascot. Does that mean I get a
new hat and bed sheets and a lunchbox? I love memorabilia. And just this year, the Oregon
State Board of Education banned all Native American names for all student athletic teams and clubs. Ooh, progressivism looks
sexy on you, Oregon. So what do you think of sports teams using Native Americans for mascots? And have you ever gone to a
school with one of these teams? Tell us in the comments. And we will not see you next week because this is the end
of season one of Decoded, so tell us how much you love
us and want us to come back, and maybe we will. ♫ Definitely not racist ♫ – Are you congratulating yourself for not saying the N-word right now? – Yeah. (electronic music)

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