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no indian mascots graphic created by Sonja Keohane

Wake Up Danville!

On August 7, 1999 the Boston Globe reported that a doctoral student had uncovered a dark secret in Vermont's past...

Scientists in the 1920s and '30s had an active eugenics plan to eliminate the state's "degenerate" bloodlines and replenish "old pioneer stock." In a book to be published later this year, Nancy Gallagher details the plan called the "Vermont Eugenics Survey." The 12-year survey, developed by an independent team of social scientists, studied "good" and "bad" families in the state and listed those which it determined needed to be eliminated, Gallagher told The Boston Globe for a story in Saturday's editions. The report was circulated among policymakers at the time and led to the passage of a 1931 sterilization law. The law resulted in the sterilization of several hundred poor, rural Vermonters, Abenaki Indians and others deemed unfit to procreate...

Now, Chaunce Benedict, superintendent of Caledonia Central Supervisory Union states...

"I certainly would recognize the concern if there was a negative representation being made. I haven't, from my point of view, seen that. Our symbol or team name has been around a long, long time and there is a great deal of allegiance and pride from which it comes. If you look back to the history of Danville, Injun Joe is a well-known historical figure."

Danville, Vermont
Home of the Danville Indians

Schools with an "Indian" mascot and or logo are actually teaching both the community and the students that racism is acceptable. What better way than this to indicate to children that stereotyping is a permitted activity, after all it is endorsed educators and school boards alike. The silence of those in authority in essence gives consent to this kind cultural disrespect. Allowing Native people to be used as mascots is wrong, disrespectful and dehumanizing. Non-natives cannot excuse this behavior by claiming that this activity is an "honor." Native people have said over and over that they are not honored by this kind of misuse of Indian image and culture.

In 1992 the National Education Association (NEA) condemned the use of "...derogatory names and symbols of ethnic groups for school, sporting teams and mascots..." For a further viewpoint on the derogatory nature of Indian mascots read the commentary by Native author Ward Churchill entitled Let's Spread the Fun Around in which he suggests in very graphic language that other cultural groups in this country should consider "joining in the fun" and have sports teams "named" after them:

First, as a counterpart to the Redskins, we need an NFL team called "Niggers" to honor Afro-Americans. Half-time festivities for fans might include a simulated stewing of the opposing coach in a large pot while players and cheerleaders dance around it, garbed in leopard skins and wearing fake bones in their noses. This concept obviously goes along with the kind of gaiety attending the Chop, but also with the actions of the Kansas Chiefs, whose team members - prominently including black members - lately appeared on a poster ,looking "fierce" and "savage" by way of wearing Indian regalia. Just a bit of harmless "morale boosting," says the Chief's front office. You bet.

So that the newly-formed Niggers sports club won't end up too out of sync while expressing the "spirit" and "identity" of Afro-Americans in the above fashion, a baseball franchise - let's call this one the "Sambos" - should be formed. How about a basketball team called the "spearchuckers/" A hockey team called the "Jungle Bunnies/" Maybe the "essence of these teams could be depicted by images of tiny black faces adorned with huge pairs of lips. The players could appear on TV every week or so gnawing on chicken legs and spitting watermelon seeds at one another. Catchy, eh? Well, there's "nothing to be upset about," according to those who love wearing "war bonnets" to the Super Bowl or having "Chief Illiniwik" dance around the sports arenas of Urbana, Illinois.

To the people of Danville.

A young Warriors fight..., In Whose Honor?, Dead Indians..., The continuing war..., Ethnic Cleansing, Sterilizations, Good ones should be dead..., Continuing hate..., No more babies...

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