Lars Larson: What’s wrong with mascots that honor Native Americans?

by Lars Larson

What in the world is wrong with having school mascots that honor Native Americans?

This one comes from my own back yard. A state school board that has decided that school mascots should not be Native American. Why? Has anybody asked the Indians about this?

For decades American schools have named their sports teams warriors and braves and chieftains. In fact, an awful lot of professional sports teams were named that way; some still are. And what’s the real problem?

When I talk to Indians, and by the way, I have Indian friends and they call themselves Indians, not Native Americans, they say they’re actually complemented by it. In fact, most of the people I find objecting to the policy are people who are white. They’ve never met an Indian in their life, and yet they say the Indians must be offended by this.

Frankly I’d be honored if somebody named a sports team after me, but the “Larses”? I don’t think so.

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UPDATE: The Oregonian ran a story late this afternoon (5/22) reporting that two tribes, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, are disappointed with the Native American mascot ban.