Letter to the Editor: Response to "Chief problem for minorities isn't mascots"

By Gregory Fabry

In response to “Chief problem for minorities isn’t mascots.”

While Courtney Boyer makes the emotionally appealing argument that there are bigger problems for minorities than how they are portrayed in our society, it is unfortunately quite fallacious. While I am not in favor of a ban of the “Three-In-One,” I do find several concerns with her column.

First, Boyer writes, “Native Americans face real issues today that are far more important than college mascots.” While this is true, we have the ability to focus on both big and small issues simultaneously. Our society does not disregard less pressing issues just because there are more concerning ones.

Second, Boyer cherry-picks several instances where individuals aren’t concerned about the mascot and claims that “many Native Americans across the nation are not offended” and such opinions are “not uncommon.” However, if one looks at the discourse surrounding the Washington, D.C. football team name and mascot, far more tribes and related organizations have spoken out against mascots that depict Native Americans than have spoken out in support of them.

Boyer quotes Neely Tsoodle, whose voice was featured in a Sports Illustrated article about mascots in football. She portrays her as supporting these mascots. But she conveniently leaves out another part of that same quote, where Tsoodle says, “Somewhere along the road it got out of hand, and became a caricature. Maybe it was lack of education, maybe it was society, but it turned into crazy, violent men running around beating drums with red paint on their face, and that’s not OK.”

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In conclusion, Boyer surreptitiously speaks for all Native Americans in her article by making such vast — however erroneous — claims. I hope that individuals interested in the controversy will consult a more diverse set of opinions.

Gregory Fabry is a junior in Engineering.