Change South Albany's confederate "rebel" mascot

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We call on Greater Albany Public Schools to take immediate action and change the confederate "rebel" mascot at South Albany High School in Albany, Oregon. In light of the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017, it's time for Albany to take action and remove this symbol of the confederacy. The continued use of the "rebel" name and imagery contributes to a climate of hatred and bigotry.

While we commend the removal of more blatant confederate imagery over the years (ie Yosemite Sam solider, red & gray confederate flag, etc), the term "rebel" has clear roots in the civil war and South Albany's break with "Union" high school. In the early 70s students chose the mascot almost as a cheeky joke and thought it would be fun to play off the secession themes: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/07/south_albany_rebel_mascot.html 

As confederate statues go down across the South, it's time for South Albany to stop clinging to a symbol of slavery and racism and to take a stand in solidarity with African Americans and other communities of color threatened by racism and the rise of white nationalism in this country. 

Crystal Middlestadt is a 1998 graduate of South Albany High School. 

This article gives context to Oregon's unique history of anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism: http://www.politicalresearch.org/2017/06/29/skin-in-the-game-how-antisemitism-animates-white-nationalism/#sthash.bG2UgS06.dpbs



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