Essay: Native American Mascots

Sample Essay

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This essay is about native American mascots. Native American mascots, and most other descriptions of Native Americans in popular culture, are stereotypes that center on the past, and thus these stereotypes support the questionable outlook that links Native Americans only with the past.

Native American mascots, and most other descriptions of Native Americans in popular culture, are stereotypes that center on the past, and thus these stereotypes support the questionable outlook that links Native Americans only with the past. Consequently, this label works to blur the lives of modern Native Americans as distinguishing and accepting the lives of contemporary Native Americans challenges this stereotype.

The basic motive behind  the resistance to removal of Native American mascots is so passionate and sensitive is because when the activists condemn the mascots they are also criticizing a form of American identity that is associated to the false tradition about the Western United States (Davis 14).

Native American mascots fake, misrepresent, and belittle many features of Native American cultures, such as using of drums drumming, dancing, singing, and other activities exclusively associated with the Native Americans. Another paradox associated to the belief that Native Americans are being honored by the mascots is that “positive” views of Native Americans, and the practice of using symbol of Native Americans to embody sport teams mascots. This belief started soon after the last of the Native American nations were subjugated or controlled. Thus, the most important question arises in one’s mind: who is being “honored” by Native American mascots, Native Americans or the Dominant Majority?

The mascots, and most other images of Native Americans in the society, lump all tribes of Native Americans collectively, wrongly communicating that there is only one Native American culture, making the representation the diversity of Native American cultures invisible. For example, only some Native American nations have political structures that are led by a male chief, and headdresses are worn by members of only a few nations. The truth is that Indians are not one culture, in fact they were numerous distinct tribes with their own civilizations. However Whites categorized the variety of cultures and societies as a single entity for the purpose of description and analysis (Berkhofer 3). Berkhofer continues this analysis when he states that “This concept denies or misrepresents social linguistic cultural and other differences among people so lapses into stereotype”. (3).

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