To the editor:
George Will's editorial column ("Mascot sensitivity runs amok," Journal-World, Jan. 5) revealed a thinly veiled racism. Mr. Will basically said that American Indians aren't smart enough to know what they think about the common practice of using images from their cultures as whimsical mascots for the charade of American sports - and even if the Indians do object, why should we care? We white folks will do whatever we want, just like we have for the last 500 years on this continent.
This is the same philosophy that has produced the American Indian genocide, a racist campaign in which even more people were systematically killed than in Nazi Germany; it still goes unacknowledged today. The Indian population in North America may have been well above 25 million before white people arrived; today it is a tiny fraction of that. The genocide continues today as Indians, especially elders, die in poverty all over the country.
Mr. Will provides some statistics that imply that Indians love being reduced to two-dimensional caricatures. Who are these people? What are their names and addresses? In the several years that I have been a student in the Evergreen State College's Native American and World Indigenous Peoples Studies department, I have never met an Indian who approves of Indian sports mascots for non-Indian teams. Your newspaper claims to stand for "sympathy and understanding for all who are disadvantaged or oppressed." The disgusting words of Mr. Will do not belong in your publication.
Jesse Dutton Miller,