Essay: Native American Stereotypes used as Sports Mascots

Sample Essay

Words 2,296

This essay discusses Native American Stereotypes being used as Sports Mascots. To the majority of Americans the image of a Native American mascot has always been a sign of bravery and courage. It is considered an honor that the society gives to the Native Americans. However, Native American and a lot of non-Native Americans believe that the image of American Indians as mascots comes from the perception of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants and within the context of historical discussion.

Introduction

To the majority of Americans the image of a Native American mascot has always been a sign of bravery and courage. It is considered an honor that the society gives to the Native Americans. However, Native American and a lot of non-Native Americans believe that the image of American Indians as mascots comes from the perception of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants and within the context of historical discussion, this depiction conveys native people as mythical or celebrated beings rather than conscious ordinary humans with shortcomings and merits, misery and pleasures, failures and achievements. American natives have been documented as the “Bad Injun” or its corresponding item the “Good Indian,” or identified with the “Ignoble Savage,” or its shadow, the romantic stereotype of the “Noble Savage,” popular again in 1990s. They are labeled as wandering, gigantic, undifferentiated, romanticized communities rather than being recognized as individuals whose real presence deserves to be defined not only by their ethnic but also by their cultural personality. All these mythic fabrications “perpetuate outmoded stereotypes rather than the purported ‘positive and heroic’ stature of American Indians.” (Jojola 263) this debate had been going on for a long time and that the Native Americans saw it as a racial slur. This essay discusses this further and explores issues and arguments which link the stereotype to colonialism and racism.

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