The fictional satire by the Manhasset student was well written and well said [“Manhasset school gets new mascot,” Just Sayin’, Dec. 3]. Will they eventually change the name of india ink because using that product name may be offensive?
History happened. It’s part of who we all are. Can’t we live in peace and harmony and stop picking on the little things and concentrate on things of importance? It seems ridiculous that something that has been in place for many years needs to be dismantled or renamed. Some schools pay tribute to their names and mascots. I’m confident that for all these years, these names and mascots were not created to disrespect Native Americans.
So what should we do — change everything, including town names, street names and everything else that might seem offensive?
— Camille Morselli, Islip Terrace
My paternal grandmother was a full-blooded Wyandot Indian and, thus, I am of Indian descent. It’s sad that people with no Indian ancestors feel that every reference to an Indian name in sports or mascots is offensive to Native Americans [“Blowback on reactions to mascot mandate,” Letters, Dec. 6]. When I see these names, it appears to me that they are glorifying the name, showing it as proud, strong, survivors, etc.
All these names should be saved and not changed. Why not make announcements at the games that the teams are proud of the Native Americans and are honored to have them as team names or mascots instead of removing the names. I believe that when these team names were derived they did it to honor the Native American courage and strength.
— John J. Whimple, Miller Place
Instead of fighting the long, drawn-out legal battles that are bound to come from the Department of Education’s mandate, why not embrace capitalism and charge each of the school districts a licensing fee to use Native American nicknames and mascots? The fee would be paid directly to local tribes for use however their leaders deemed fit.
Resolving poverty and alcohol and drug addiction, which Native Americans currently face, is more important than changing high school mascots.
— Gerard Sewell, West Babylon
I once drove to Montana and passed through the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. In its largest town, I was surprised to see a big sign outside the high school saying, “Welcome to Browning, home of the Indians,” which is their mascot.
My daughter, a teacher, has told me that a few Native Americans have discussed their culture at her school and specifically said they prefer to be called Indians.
I can understand why Native Americans would have been offended by the NFL Washington team’s former mascot, the Redskins, or by Cleveland baseball’s “Chief Wahoo.” But I think our “woke” culture has taken things too far.
Many Long Island towns have names that were Native American in origin. America continually appropriates things from other cultures and exports American culture to other countries. Using names and words brings to mind these cultures. We do all a disservice if we cancel them.
— Dave Pedersen, Nesconset
I thought being called “brave” was a compliment. Being a “chief” is a great achievement similar to a general, which nobody seems to have a problem with. Calling somebody “a warrior” is always positive.
Once again, a lack of common sense seems to be overtaking us. Other team names or mascots could be offensive, but Albany wants to use a broad stroke. This is consistent with things recently seen as only black or white — no gray, no compromise. You are part of the solution or part of the problem — no middle ground.
Until we recognize our past and how to compromise, the state and country will be at war with itself. Native Americans have the best claim to U.S. reparations, surpassing any other group. If we really want to do right by them, instead of playing name games, we should assist with problems of reservation life for years. Letting them build casinos and sell tobacco isn’t enough.
— Jim Mastrodomenico, Glen Head
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