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Our Mascot Must Go

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Recently, there has been a lot of debate about the changing of the John Jay mascot: the Indians. Our student body is being divided on whether or not the Indians mascot should stay or go, causing great amounts of commotion during our academic lives. I believe that the Indian mascot needs to go. It is not only offensive towards Native Americans, but it was deemed unacceptable by the National Congress of American Indians.

Each grade level had an assembly on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 to discuss this issue. Being in 9th grade, I had the opportunity to witness the freshman assembly. It was a free for all as people stated their opinions while shooting others down. People seemed to only be concerned if they, themselves, found Indians to be offensive.  Although most of the freshmen aren’t Native Americans, this is no excuse for the mascot to be deemed as “okay.”

One of my friends is Native American. She stated that she has been harassed because of her ethnicity and that the mascot was a factor in the bullying. People dismissed her argument completely and began to be flat-out mean. She was crying throughout the rest of the assembly because of the insensitivity of others. She didn’t even get to defend her argument further because “other people needed a chance to speak.” The two-word sentence: “Go Indians,” caused everyone to go wild, while heartfelt speeches about why the Indian name needs to change were only met with a mediocre applause.

One argument was the concern of money. It will cost money to buy new jerseys that don’t feature the Indians, as well as repainting the basketball courts and fields. Money shouldn’t be the issue here. We get our money from the state and the Booster Club does a lot of fundraising. Compassion should be more important than money. If people are being harassed because of our mascot, then we need to put the money into changing the name.

The name of our new mascot, if we decide to change it, has not yet been decided. We don’t know if we’re going to be called the Statesmen or something else. Regardless of our new name, I am very confident that it will be something that will give us pride to be part of the John Jay community.

Our mascot need to change. How would you feel if you were Native American and you were bullied because of your school’s mascot? Try and put yourselves in other’s shoes. I’m sorry Indians fans, but Native American mascots increase racial insensitivity! Show that you care for the safety and comfort for others and vote to change the mascot. Compassion is one of the most important traits for a person to have and people should show that they have it by voting for the change. Indians No-More!

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Our Mascot Must Go”

  1. Alexa on December 19th, 2017 1:21 pm

    I would like to note that before I post this comment, the rules of this website is such:
    “As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. ”

    As someone who has worked with many different arrays of people, I believe that your argument of “John Jay Retards” is still offensive, despite you saying that you have been called this name before. We have never called anyone retard at this school, and I feel that linking the term “Indian” to “retard” is a extremely big stretch and they have no link whatsoever. I want you to duly note that the term “Indian” was perfectly fine when Americans came over to the land. “American Indian” appears often in treaties between the United States and the indigenous peoples with whom they have been negotiating since the colonial period, and many federal, state and local laws also use it. Some activists and public figures of indigenous descent, such as Russell Means, even prefer the term”American Indian” to the more recently adopted “Native American”.

    While the topic of switching the logo to something other than an Indian is on the line here, I believe the comparison you made to something you were called is out of line. I am not saying that the term “retard” is a good thing: It’s not. But, the term Indian is not considered 100% bad to some people, even to some who are of native american decent. The term retard is a term that is 100% bad and I feel that comparing the two is outright calling Indians retards, since you say “we might as well just call ourselves the John Jay Retards.”

    The argument “I mean we’d supporting those with mental disabilities. No! Retard is an extremely offensive term. ” has nothing to do with the fact that Indian is a good term or not. Indian is something is 50/50 in their community; Some mind, some don’t. While the term retard is definitely not 50/50 at all in the mental disability range. I believe that this is not a valid reason to remove the Indian logo, as it just feels like you are violating the focus rule to not use “foul language, personal attacks” as well as possibly having this article “interpreted as libelous” due to the term “retard” possibly being linked to Indians.

    Therefore, I believe this article should be taken down and/or revised by the community of Focus Writers or the School Administrators before harsh comparisons between retard and Indian are published.

    [Reply]

    Vivian Turriago Reply:

    Ms./Mr. Moriello,
    The staff recognizes your concern and we have edited the article. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    Regards,
    The Focus Staff

    [Reply]

The Focus intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Focus does not allow anonymous comments, and The Focus requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

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