Retire South Point High School's "Red Raider" Mascot

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The town of Belmont, NC exists on land that once belonged to the Catawba and Sugaree tribes. South Point High School was established in 1964 with the mascot the "Red Raider," depicted as a bright red Native American man with an earring, mohawk, and feather. South Point's mascot, which presents a racialized caricature of a marginalized group, is offensive, insulting to Native Americans, and should be retired. 

As South Point alumni, we recognize that many people feel a sense of pride and identity with the Red Raider mascot, and that a call to retire the mascot will bring feelings of anger, defensiveness, and confusion. We recognize that it is easier to name and call out racism in other communities and institutions than to do so within an institution we have grown up in and identified with, and that it is not easy to use the word "racist" in association with a school we feel great pride in. We also recognize that many alumni who do feel uncomfortable with the mascot may still feel hesitant to say so publicly at the risk of upsetting friends and family members.

However, we believe that when we know better, we must do better. For many of us who have been asking for ways to fight racism and advance justice within our communities, this is a small but symbolic step we can take to begin. We encourage South Point alumni, students, faculty, and community members to come together to support retiring the Red Raider mascot and democratically choosing a new mascot that better represents the character of South Point and Belmont.

We would like to get signatures and participation from every graduating class of South Point alumni. If you are a South Point alum interested in representing your class and helping spread the word to your classmates, please contact Laura Boyce '03 at laura.n.boyce@gmail.com.