GENOCIDE The DELIBERATE and SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION of a National, Political, Racial, or CULTURAL GROUP.
It appears to me the “MEDIA”, has triggered a movement to eradicate the MEMORY, of our Native American Culture.
We now see few movies featuring the “INDIAN”. Westerns we all watched, most of the time, featured the Indian in a fashion that could be interpreted in a bad light. The Massacre of Custer’s troops. Attacking wagon trains, etc. etc. Then we also had the ones which showed the other side the “Indians” who worked as Scouts for the Calvary. SACAGAWEA, Who was instrumental in the movement to push the boundaries of the United States to the Pacific Ocean. Without her, the USA may have ended at the Mississippi River. Let’s not forget the “INDIANS” who befriended the first SETTLERS, and saved their live by teaching them how to grow keeps in this “Untamed Land”.
We had Tonto, faithful companion to The Lone Ranger, NOT just a companion, BUT actually his life saver. And many more.
In reality many of us wanted to be the “INDIAN” when we played Cowboys and “INDIANS”. We admired the family values, they depicted. We appreciated their courage. Their tenacity to hold on to their Land and way of LIFE.
WHO? Among us would not FIGHT to defend our LAND, OUR WAY OF LIFE. We took away their Land, Food, and most likely their dignity. We moved them around, for our convenience. Put them on little parcels of land called RESERVATIONS. Before we came this whole country was theirs. They welcomed us with open arms, and we treated them badly.
Now the NCAA and PRO Sports, even our Primary Schools, are wanting to abolish the use of any reference of the “INDIAN”. I know of a small town about 20 miles from where I live, began as an “INDIAN” village. The school there taught them our ways, and took their name as the school’s nickname. Thanks to school consolidation, the town has only an elementary school, but still carries the “INDIAN” name. The meaning has several interpretations today, from the native name of a type of TREE, to what they called EELS. HISTORY LOST. But ask any of the alumni, or any of the townspeople. They are proud of the that name regardless of what it means.
By removing the last remnants, the team NICKNAMES, and MASCOTS; the GENOCIDE, of our Native Americans will move closer to being nothing more than a footnote in history. These Mascots, (even if not exactly accurate), remind of the American Heritage. There were many Tribes. Few of us know more than a handful of their names. But with the Colleges, Pro, and Primary Schools, we find our last tributes, to the brave native people who settled here long before “”AMERICANS”‘, thought of coming here.
What people are missing is this. The names were given with respect and admiration. Whether, like the nickname of the school previously mentioned, (remember the tree, or eel, or whatever it meant). Or a local tribe, or chief, or warrior. They remain as a reminder, lest we forget…
If you have noticed I used quotation marks each time I wrote “INDIAN”. American should be used. The word “INDIAN” came about because Chris Columbus thought he was in INDIA.
In conclusion, I think removing these last few reminders, of the REAL American, would be an absolute tragedy.
That Is How I See It.