Indians mascot is harmless

Letter to the Editors


In the Spectrum, an article was written about the controversy of the Dartmouth Indian mascot by Morgan Banville and Alexias Soares. This is an applicable article that describes the controversy of whether an Indian head is an acceptable mascot.

To determine whether the mascot should be changed, one must ask, is the term “Indian” offensive? Dartmouth student “Tom Pullin who is 70% Mollala Native American… said, ‘I think it’d be a cool thing. [I’m] not offended in the slightest.’”

Another student stated, “‘I feel like it makes us more proud.” Here are two Native Americans among numerous others who believe that the Indian mascot is perfectly acceptable.

This controversy extends to the national level with the NFL team, the Washington Redskins. I can understand why this is inappropriate and racist. The name is derogatory because of the suggestion of “red” skin.

What does the term “Indian” suggest? That these people are from India? Yes, but that is a mistake that the explorers made when they first came to America in the 17th century. Today, the word “Indian” implies strength, power, and adeptness. Why would someone not want to be called that?

“Yankee” used to be a derogatory term for American colonists called that by the British. Now, we sing the song “Yankee Doodle,” and watch the New York Yankees. Indian and Yankee are two words originally insulting, but are now promoted by people all over the United States.

All in all, the Indian mascot seems quite harmless. Why should this topic be on the forefront of our minds while 18-year olds die in the Middle East and a pandemic of Ebola spreads across the world? Let us preserve the Indian mascot as a symbol of strength and power for the present, a symbol of our ancestors who have endured through the past, and face the problems of the future.