Ending racist names

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Fri Apr 13 12:46:53 MDT 2001

APRIL 13, 12:21 EST

Group Seeks End of Indian Names

AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Saying the use of Indian names and mascots may violate
anti-discrimination laws, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights called for an end to
their use by non-Indian schools, colleges and universities.

The group's recommendation Friday does not carry the weight of law, but Indian groups
working to get schools to shed the names saw it as an endorsement of their effort.

``I think it's going to make a big difference,'' said Cyd Crue, president of the
Illinois chapter of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media. ``I
realize it's not the end of stereotypes in sports, but I think it was really important
that a federal commission get involved and make a statement to move our country toward
more equality and social justice.''

The commission said Indian names and mascots could be viewed as ``disrespectful and
offensive'' by Indian groups and can create ``a racially hostile educational
environment that may be intimidating to Indian students.''

American Indian activists and others complain the mascots are disrespectful, asking
schools to get rid of the names and mascots. Though hundreds of teams still use names
such as Indians and Braves, school districts, colleges and universities have changed
their team names at the urging of Indian groups.

The St. John's University Redmen are now the Red Storm, while Stanford fans cheer for
the Cardinal instead of the Indians. Miami of Ohio has also changed its nickname from
the Redskins to the RedHawks.

This week, the Afton, N.Y., school board voted unanimously to stop using an Indian
mascot and logo for its sports teams, doing away with the mascot, logo and ``Indians''
nickname after this school year ends.

Last week, New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills sent a letter to school
districts urging them to drop Indian names, symbols and mascots.


On the Net:

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media:


U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: http://www.usccr

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