Letter: Other offensive nicknames
That there is compelling evidence that the use of Native American mascots and nicknames damages the self-esteem of Native American children is sufficient reason to eliminate those mascots and nicknames.
Advocates for this cause could be more effective if they showed more cultural awareness of the context in which they occur. The flagrant disregard of cultural context makes the advocates look unserious in the eyes of people who need to be educated.
For example, in a recent editorial (Monitor, April 10) the paper quotes with approval a comment from an advocate suggesting there are no other races used as mascots, and the Monitor then cites mascots that do not exist rather than those that do.
How do New Englanders not think of the Boston Celtics logo, in which a race of people is represented by a cartoon figure? The Minnesota Vikings would be relevant to this discussion. One might also think of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame or the Dutchmen of Union or the New York Yankees. The Vancouver NHL team nickname is still a strong ethnic slur on the East Coast, although apparently it means something different on the West Coast.
The Monitor does hint that it finds all race-based nicknames demeaning. Perhaps it should have said so clearly. I leave it to the Notre Dame people to explain why that nickname might not be seen as demeaning.