Monday, February 9, 2009

Indians face racist mascot backlash

I received the following via email, so no link to follow.

Does anyone remember the debates of the definiion of 'terrorism' right after 9-11? If I remember correctly, the official government definition was along the lines of someone who uses violent acts to try to change political policy.

So, what about people who use death threats and violent physical attacks (throwing a rock at peaceful protestors) to try to change the town policy about a friggin school mascot of all things?

I've long felt that immigrants of middle-eastern background were not nearly the most dangerous 'terror' threat in this country. Maybe its because I grew up in the south at the tail end of the KKK era, but I know the way violence and intimidation have been used by some whites against any other group that may want to have a say in what happens in their community. And don't ever forget who bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Shouldn't people who are willing to threaten to kill other people over something as minor as a school mascot be considered very dangerous? More likely the Feds are busy investigating some family of arab immigrants who came here to try to find a better life.

Indians face racist mascot backlash
Posted by: "Mark Anquoe by way of Mark Cohen" acjobim2002
Sun Feb 8, 2009 1:48 pm (PST)

Mark Anquoe
American Indian Movement - West
(415) 566-5788

Corine Fairbanks
American Indian Movement ­ Santa Barbara
(805) 212-4947

Native Americans Face Violence and Intimidation
Over Mascot Removal in Carpinteria
CARPINTERIA, California - The small town of
Carpinteria, California is the latest
battleground in Native Americans’ fight against
racism. The controversy over a supposedly
“harmless” high school sports mascot has
alienated the Native American population of
Carpinteria, who have come to fear violent
reprisals from the non-Native community.

The Carpinteria “Warriors” mascot is the
standard Indian chief stereotype, complete with
generic plains-style war bonnet and stoic gaze.
The school logo consists of a spear with dangling
feathers; a visual symbol also associated with
plains Indian cultures. Last spring, 15 year old
Chumash youth Eli Cordero voiced his objections
to the use of this stereotypical imagery by
Carpinteria High School. On April 22nd, 2008, he
brought his concerns before the school board
which then voted to retire the use of all Native American imagery.

Since the April 2008 decision, many citizens of
Carpinteria have waged a campaign of terror
against those who supported the school board’s
decision, as well as the school board itself. A
local businessman placed a quarter-page ad in the
local newspaper explicitly naming and targeting
Eli Cordero, the young student who originally
brought the issue to the school board. Since that
time, the 15 year old has received death threats
and his family has been harassed. Death threats
were also made against the child of a school
board member who voted to remove the imagery.
Local police began escorting school board members
to and from school board meetings. Some citizens
of Carpinteria shouted racial epithets at John
Orendorff, a Native American Army Reserve colonel
who spoke at a school board meeting in favor of removing the racist imagery.

Some Native American people have moved out of
Carpinteria due to the climate of fear and
anti-Indian sentiment. Ashleigh Brown, until
recently a resident of Carpinteria, spoke of her
decision to move away, “There is a community
member who refused to do our printing for our
cultural awareness event. Her son…started telling
my roommate to keep my nose out of Carpinteria
issues, or else I might regret it…So after other
townsppeople found out where I lived I decided to move out of Carpinteria.”

An organization called “Recall CUSD - Warrior
Spirit Never Dies” (,
has waged a largely successful campaign to
discredit and oust the school board members who
supported the anti-mascot measure. Having
successfully installed pro-mascot sympathizers on
the school board, there is now a petition to
rescind the earlier decision and keep the racist
imagery at the public high school. On January
27th, local Native American people organized a
protest to voice their objection to the measure,
and were met with verbal abuse by drivers and
passers-by. One protestor was hit with a rock
thrown by an adult man shouting obscenities. This
occurred despite the presence of a representative
of the federal justice department, who was sent
from Los Angeles to ensure proper police conduct
and the safety of the demonstrators. Many local
Native Americans, while supporting the
anti-mascot effort, refused to join the protest, fearing violent reprisals
by the townspeople.

The next school board meeting in Carpinteria is
scheduled for February 10th.. At this meeting the
board will hear from a committee which was formed
to assess each specific Native American image on
display at Carpinteria High School. The school
board is then expected to adjourn until February
24th, when the vote to rescind the previous
ruling will be held. Protests and
counter-protests are expected at both board meetings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!