Let’s Change the AB “Colonials” Mascot

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Let’s Change the AB “Colonials” Mascot 

The Black Lives Matter movement demands change on all levels, both nationally and locally. One way to affirm the Black Lives Matter movement in our own Acton-Boxborough community is to refuse to celebrate colonialism, a social system that harmed native peoples physically and culturally. Furthermore, colonialism brought slavery to the Americas and the idea of race that white people used to justify it. Therefore, colonialism is a historical reason for why the Black Lives Matter movement must exist in the current moment.  

Our mascot is currently the Acton-Boxborough Colonial, which is physically represented by a white, male colonist (featured on AB Beacon on 6/3/20). Although mascots intend to bring fan bases together, the AB mascot gives a likeable face to a time period that set the stage for present day racial divisions. Changing the mascot is an ethical and educational action that will underscore the need to know real, and not sugar coated, representations of the past. 

We are not effective supporters of Black Lives Matters unless we challenge the normalization of colonialism in our daily lives. To do so, we need to take concrete actions, starting by changing the narratives that we tell. Narratives have power. We need a symbol for school spirit that is not at odds with our mission statement (ABRHS mission statement), rather than a symbol associated with racism and oppression.

While we invite you to consider signing this petition to change the mascot, we also recognize that this is a largely symbolic act. Below, we have included other tangible ways to impact racial justice and learn more. 

Resources:

WBUR reporting MA high schools with mascots evoking colonialsm

MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda’s campaign to end Native imageries as mascots

European Colonialism’s Impact on Native People by Lenox Historical Society in Lenox, MA

The History of Slavery in MA by Massachusetts Historical Society

The History of White Flight and the Development of the Suburbs by Citylab

Boston Globe Spotlight Article on Racism in the Boston Area by Boston Globe

People Protesting to Change the Namesake of Faneuil Hall by Boston.com

Take action: 

Indigenous People’s Day MA Campaign

Movement for Black Lives

Mass Bail Fund

Support Black-owned businesses in Boston Metro Area

Contact Rep. Lori Trahan to demand support for H.R. 7085 which will end qualified immunity for government officials and law enforcement (qualify immunity is a judge-made process that stops victims of police brutality from filing suit unless they can identify a previous case where the use of force they suffered was ruled illegal--same jurisdiction, same context, and same conduct)