I In recent years there has been a growing controversy around the use and abuse of Indian mascots. This practice, which some claim is a representation of competitive spirit and team identity while others declare discrimination, has sparked passionate debates and intense protests. Multiple schools have voluntarily abandoned their Indian-related names. However, some have not and the dispute remains ever-present. Truly, there should be no compromise. The use of Indians as sports mascots is immoral because it discriminates unfairly against Native Americans. The argument over whether Native American mascots should be used as a team symbol dates back to the 1970’s (Price 2). People differ on the basic subject, but there is a more
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It is through listening to those with the smallest voice, the oppressed, that we begin to understand the harmful effect of demeaning caricatures on a school banner or team uniform. The essence of anti-discrimination laws is to protect the silent minority of those unprotected by disparate treatment. So too, it follows that the debate concerning Indian sport images should not involve “certainty” as to the number of Native Americans who are either impacted or offended by such symbols. The numbers do not matter. What does matter is that a relevant portion of a race is treated differently than any other class when it comes to the utilization of sports mascots.
Listening leads to understanding. It is not a matter of conferring with more groups or evaluating who can shout the loudest that determines whether discrimination exists. Selectively choosing what we hear limits our knowledge. True voice contains various pitches, tenor and tones. Thus, it is the blending of what Native Americans say combined with the vocalization of non-Indians that provides a range of insight into how Indian sports mascots discriminate.
The Utilitarian perspective, that the morally right action is the action that produces the most good, parallels the conveyance by proponents of an Indian mascot ban that eliminating the use of Indian mascots would not only be most desirable for their specific group, (i.e., Native Americans), but also for society as a whole. Presuming