Brentwood High School is among 14 Long Island schools affected...

Brentwood High School is among 14 Long Island schools affected by the state education department's ban on Native American mascots. Credit: Tom Ferrara

Mascot issue still dividing Long Island

While mascots may have been chosen with good intentions, it has become evident they are offensive and disrespectful to Native Americans, the people they claim to honor [“New mural, but the old mascot,” News, May 25].

This group has been marginalized and discriminated against for centuries. By using these images, we perpetuate harmful stereotypes that reduce entire groups to caricatures.

It’s crucial to consider the perspective of Native Americans, who are opposed to these mascots because they are disrespectful, dehumanizing and undermine thestruggles faced over centuries of discrimination.

We must recognize the impact our actions have on students. Educational institutions should foster inclusive and respectful environments for all, and the state’s guidance should be embraced as an opportunity to set a positive examplefor our students and communities.

School districts opposing these changes should reach out to Native American representatives and get their perspective.

— Adam Dulberg, Massapequa Park

“We are the Indians and couldn’t be prouder. If you don’t believe us, we’ll shout a little louder.” That was one of my cheers at upstate Glens Falls High School, and there was nothing pejorative in our affirmation. It was pride! Glens Falls is in the Adirondacks, and Native Americans inhabited that area long before Glens Falls became a community.

It makes no sense that school mascots that have been part of Long Islandour communities for ages should be removed. They are each school’s long-standing symbols of pride and belonging. The expense to erase and replace them will cost plenty, and these expenditures could serve a better purpose, for example, funding Child Protective Services.

Should we stop saying police chief and fire chief and change the name of Wounded Warriors? But we’ll keep the names of the Sachem School District and Indian Point and Montauk Point. This obfuscates more serious issues that a new mascot will not change.

— Holly Gordon, Bay Shore

I was surprised, yet not surprised, at the number of readers against changing mascots and names [“No end to views about mascots,” Letters, April 30]. Most were extolling the pride and reverence they had for these indigenous people as the reason why these mascots were chosen in the first place. While it may have been the best of intentions, tribal leaders have fought for these changes for some time.

It’s time we look through a lens other than the “white” lens that has shaped our country. As Maya Angelou said, “You do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, you do better.” It’s time to do better.

— Maria Vivona, Melville

Migrant situation is a tricky one

Suffolk County Republicans want to hire a lawyer to keep out migrants [“Suffolk to hire lawyer to block migrants,” News, May 22]. What this means is they want to keep out children and their families who seek a better and more secure life.

Those lacking compassion should realize that they are more fortunate, but at any moment things can change. Say Suffolk becomes uninhabitable due to climate change and residents are suddenly displaced, or your sons are told to join a gang or face severe consequences. So you try to leave quickly but no one wants you since you are now a refugee. You are part of a swarm of refugees, dehumanized, and all you want is a chance to reestablish your life, to keep your family safe.

Have we not learned from our past when the fleeing Jews were sent back to Germany to be exterminated? Have we as a country not realized that we are hurting ourselves by turning away those who seek to make our country better?

It’s time for a reasonable, humane immigration policy. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world’s richest country were also the most compassionate?

 — Lynn Geisler, Huntington


Thousands of new arrivals want to work. One solution from Gov. Kathy Hochul and Newsday’s editorial board is to let them work the farms and in food service because that’s where they’re needed [“Wrong to stoke migrant fear,” Opinion, May 23]. They can help with housekeeping, too.

It sounds simple until you look at their income versus expenses.

Many articles have been published about the high cost of housing, food and utilities on Long Island — plus taxes. What happens when the subsidies for the asylum seekers run out? Who will help them make ends meet then?

Maybe our local elected officials have seen this massive financial burden coming. They have to deal with it and the current residents who live here. That’s why the politicians are objecting and trying to add new local laws.

 — Thomas Fanning, St. James

Immigration has been and continues to be the backbone of our country. So many of our relatives and ancestors were immigrants, my grandparents included, who were sponsored before their weary feet hit the shores.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ current stances appear primarily political. Yes, immigrants need jobs, but is the Democratic Party using the multitudes for future votes?

The entire process is a hot mess. Politicians knew this mass wave was coming, yet they acted as if all of a sudden there were too many uninvited guests at the wedding. Not to mention people attempting to blame the previous administration in Washington.

 — Donna Skjeveland, Ronkonkoma


It seems that this situation has gotten out of hand [“Seeking asylum, but facing hostility,” News, May 25]. We need our political leaders to stand up and push back before we lose a fortune like New York City will if it continues its path of seemingly endless spending. Mayor Eric Adams said the city has spent $1 billion for migrants and is on its way to $4 billion.

It’s frustrating to see the city spending taxpayer money on migrants while cutting its municipal retiree constituents’ health benefits.

The political leaders of neighboring counties are justified in refusing to jeopardize the well-being of their constituents: These counties do not have the resources to shelter, feed and support thousands of migrants. That should be the responsibility of the federal government. They are transported on, essentially, politicians’ whims.

 — Jacques Hakim, Bayside


Maybe this country should concentrate more on its own people who are homeless and hungry.

 — Thomas Sarc, Central Islip

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN OUR DAILY CONVERSATION. Email your opinion on the issues of the day to Submissions should be no more than 200 words. Please provide your full name, hometown, phone numbers and any relevant expertise or affiliation. Include the headline and date of the article you are responding to. Letters become the property of Newsday and are edited for all media. Due to volume, readers are limited to one letter in print every 45 days. Published letters reflect the ratio received on each topic.

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months