Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 9, 2013

‘Redskins’ nickname is offensive

— I attempted to weigh in on (the Goshen High School nickname/mascot) issue the last time it came up in The Goshen News, but my letters were not printed. The question posed (in the May 5 edition) was, “What’s in a Name?” In the case of the GHS (Redskins) mascot, it is insult, degradation, racism, and an ongoing slap-in-the face reminder of the disgusting manner in which my Native American ancestors were treated by Europeans.

I stopped getting The Goshen News because I was tired of reading the term over and over. I found it totally disingenuous of The Goshen News to print an editorial asking us to consider a name change when their sports page is the worst offender. I refuse to live in the Goshen school district because I will not have my children called by this repulsive name. If the GHS mascot was the “Rednecks,” it would be changed in a heartbeat because many white people find the term offensive. Yet, The Goshen News once again polled non-native people for their opinions on whether they were offended by the current mascot. Only one response showed any concern for the effect of the term on indigenous people.

The last time around, one non-native person went so far as to claim the term “honors” Native Americans. Right. In the exact same way that the “N” word “honors” African-Americans. The school district would not even consider a mascot using terms that were common to describe African-Americans when I was a child, so why the double standard? (Superintendent) If Diane Woodworth, (Principal) Barry Younghans, and (schools Trustee) Bob Duell are serious about forming a committee to discuss the mascot, I volunteer.

— Ron Chupp