As a REAL Native American who went to Scappoose High School in Scappoose, Oregon for four years, I will share my experience as it relates to racism and mascots, though I doubt it will matter now since it didn't matter then.
Introduction, Or Why I’m Mad
The problem with white saviors isn’t necessarily that they’re paternalistic, or dumb, it’s mostly that they aren’t dependable. Where is my white savior when I want a jar opened? Ultimately, if you give a white person too much power as an ally they will betray you.
During the 20 years that Russell Means and I were writing partners, from 1992 to 2012, Hollywood made several movies that misrepresented American Indians and their cultures in insulting ways.
When I reverse in time, I see myself back to a time when I was in Geography Class. When I was in class, I was a student who listened to every word that was spoken by the teacher.
For some odd and stupid reason many of us continue to be color struck. I really think most of us are ignorant or at the very least forgetful. Black people who look “white” is not a new phenomenon.
I’ve heard it dozens of times: folks justify the appropriation of Native culture and the theft of sacred rites and ceremonies by saying there’s no injury; that it’s essentially harmless, or even beneficial.
I recently purchased a Time magazine special edition, “The Supreme Court: Decisions that Changed America.” Such topics as Privacy, Free Speech, Civil Rights, Abortion, Guns, Same-Sex Marriage, and Obamacare appear on the magazine cover.
We’ve heard your rhetoric, white person, and we’re still not buying the idiots who prevail in popular culture today.
The latest example of the name and mascot wars is at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
As you stand by the Assiniboine River you hear the running of Mother Earth's water, as well as feel her love flowing near you.
Halloween is the season most synonymous with cultural appropriation. Annually, Native people and allies of Native folks find themselves in uncomfortable situations where they are forced to address racially and culturally insensitive Halloween costumes either on social media or in person.
Some days I leave my classroom unsure that what I have taught has any real effect on my students, but then there are days like today.