NO INDIGENOUS CHILD, NO CHILD, SHOULD GROW UP IN A WORLD WHERE PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AND MEDIA PERSIST IN USING DISCRIMINATORY NAMES AND MASCOTS
THE R WORD IS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE N WORD:
CHANGE THE MASCOT
CHANGE THE NAME
To help the rabid supporters of discriminatory names and mascots explore a new perspective, this analogy is offered:
“Imagine a Protestant sports team that chose years ago to adopt a Catholic name that was a degrading slur against the Catholic people. Imagine the Protestant team had no Catholic players or owners or heritage. In fact, imagine the Protestants actually massacred Catholic people throughout history and enslaved them until recently. Then, imagine the Protestant team’s mascot was a caricature of the beloved Pope, complete with head-dress and robes and staff. Imagine the fans incited at every game to chant their versions of sacred Catholic music and song, to use sacred Catholic artifacts in jest, to dress in ridiculous versions of sacred religious cloth, all in front of Catholic fans. Imagine the Protestant team put their own manufactured image of the Pope on their helmets and uniforms, to celebrate the vulgar and demeaning name of the team at every game. Imagine the Catholic people asking year after year for the Protestant Team to stop this outrage, but they would not stop. And finally, to complete this analogy, imagine all newspapers and sports broadcasters and internet sites and clothing manufacturers and advertisers and all commentators choosing to carry all of this desecration of Catholic people and culture to Catholic children and their parents, knowing full well that it was horrible for Catholics to experience, and absolutely damaging to the self concept of their children.”
On November 7, 2013, the Washington DC professional football team comes to Minneapolis to play at the government funded and operated Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome where civil rights laws and labor laws prohibit discrimination of any kind and where over 200,000 nearby indigenous people live their lives.
Any print or broadcast use of the name of the DC football team within the property owned by the people of Minnesota violates Federal labor laws, hate speech protections, broadcast decency licenses, State, City and County labor laws and civil rights protections, the operational and employment bylaws of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, and it violates the civil rights of every indigenous person by denying us equal protection under the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
We want to let the National Football League, the Washington DC Football Team, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the Federal, State, County and City Regulatory and Judicial Authorities, every Elected Official in the region, and the Local and National Media know that the “R” word, and its accompanying images, are no different than other forms of discriminatory hate speech, and their willful use must no longer be tolerated.
We are asking all parties distributing the names and images of derogatory sports mascots, beginning with the “R” word, to agree to switch to alternative team references and to consciously avoid using the images.
We are asking these perpetrators to change. A private organization has the right to freedom of speech, but public organizations, publicly funded organizations, corporations and organizations regulated by the public do not have the right to harm any class of people because of the color of their skin, or because of any other aspect of their appearance or beliefs. President Obama recently made history by acknowledging the issue of the “R” word and the need for change.
If this simple and effective remedy is not adopted, we will petition all governmental and judicial agents of the people to enforce the clear, abundant and constitutional civil protections already in place but not enforced by our civil servants.
WE WILL CHALLENGE PUBLIC REGULATORY BODIES, WE WILL SEEK COMPENSATION, AND WE WILL INITIATE MAJOR LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST ALL PERPETRATORS AFTER NOVEMBER 7.
Be a part of the planning and be a part of history. Volunteer, invite others, stand with us, drum with us, donate money and resources, call the people distributing the offensive, damaging and illegal “R” word and tell them to stop.
Join us by using your voice to speak to those who hold the power. Lets stop the DC football team’s RACIST NAME from being seen and heard. Join us at at 4:30pm on November 7th at the Ancient Traders Post- 1113 E. Franklin Ave. Minneapolis, MN to show the world that institutional racism has no place.
Indigenous mascots perpetrated by non indigenous people have been shown to cause damage to the self concept and income producing potential of indigenous children specifically, and to cause unequal treatment of all indigenous people and all people of color as a class.
TOGETHER, WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:
Beginning November 2, and ending November 7, 2013, we are organizing a week of CHANGE THE MASCOT activities including:
1) A Mass Presence at the Metrodome beginning at 5:30 pm November 7, prior to the DC football game.
2) A Fundraising Event.
3) Educational Exhibits, Performances, Gatherings and Meetings with all Stakeholders and Perpetrators.
4) Support for Congresswoman McCollum’s co-authored house bill to remove the “R” word trademark protection (Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or People in Trademark Registration Act.)
Initiation of Major Legal Action Against All Perpetrators of the “R” Word and other Institutionally Racist Mascots:
5) A possible class action lawsuit, naming all sports and media who persist in using the “R” word despite evidence of its harm, as defendants, and all indigenous children and adults, as plaintiffs.
6) Legal remedies seeking injunctions and damages from perpetrating organizations for their blatant and illegal disregard for existing discrimination and labor law protections in code and statute.
7) Challenges to all Public Licensing and Public Regulatory bodies, including the Federal Communications Commission, to indict or decertify the perpetrators for failing to protect the public interest.
8) Challenges to Federal, State, County, City, Vikings Corporation and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority organizations demanding that they immediately enforce all applicable legal protections and enforcement remedies that exist in writing that are intended to protect employees, contractors, children and the general public from hate crimes and acts of discrimination and abuse.
The “R” word is no different from the “N” word except that the institutional inherited racism associated with the use of Indigenous Mascots by non-indigenous people has maintained its political, social and financial momentum. They ignore the evidence that such use is damaging and entirely unnecessary, and such use would never be tolerated for analogous situations with other protected classes. They ignore the evidence that the reason they persist in denigrating a class of people is because of embedded racism – by definition, and because they can.
The American Psychological Association, Indigenous Children, Indigenous Parents and tens of millions of citizens who believe in human equality stand together.
Media organizations such as the Washington City Paper, DCist, Slate, The New Republic, Mother Jones, and the Kansas City Star have adopted policies to stop the distribution of indigenous mascot words and images.
Major Native American organizations, including the American Indian Movement: National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, Oneida Indian Nation of New York, the Native American Journalists Association, the Native American Rights Fund, the Morning Star Institute, the International Indian Treaty Council, and the National Indian Youth Council, have opposed the continued use of the “R” word.
Impartial academic research is abundantly clear that mascots and stereotypes harm the targeted class of people, Indigenous People, with children being the most affected by negative consequences. Moreover, this same research suggests that any specific use of mascots and stereotypes crosses over and affects all protected classes because any demeaning of one class increases the context and perceptions of all targeted classes as to their social status and self image, and increases the likelihood that the general population will view all classes of protected people with a lesser perception of equality.
We ask you to volunteer and act now, immediately, to remove the stain of mascots from print and the airwaves, from public address systems to the internet, from uniforms and scoreboards, and from our consciousness. Join us at the University of Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union November 4-7 for educational exhibits, performances, and conferences.
Congresswoman McCollum through Legislation and a Team of Attorneys
Challenge the “R” Word Trademark in Federal Courts
CHANGE THE MASCOT
STOP THE R WORD
STOP INDIGENOUS MASCOTS
Listen to Larry Long’s “Red Skins”