Pride and Excellence - Keep the NQHS mascot YAKOO!!!

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The North Quincy High School Raiders nickname and beloved Yakoo mascot pay tribute to the multicultural heritage of North Quincy and the singular role the neighborhood played in Massachusetts history. We owe it to future generations to keep alive this North Quincy legacy. That’s why we must act to ensure that state lawmakers will respect the right of schools to maintain their traditions and reject any bill banning Native American symbols for mascots.

When Europeans arrived in Massachusetts in the 1620s, a group of them found Chief Chickatawbut and the Massachusetts natives -- for whom the state is named -- headquartered on a rocky outcrop on the north end of what’s now Wollaston Beach. This outcrop is called Moswetuset Hummock, a beautiful place to watch the sun rise over Quincy Bay. Moswetuset Hummock is on the National Register of Historic Places and near North Quincy High School.

The Raiders name and mascot, like most all team nicknames, are a tribute -- in this case to the local natives who inspired our forefathers to name our state Massachusetts (Moswetuset). The Yakoo mascot is not offensive but another symbol of multiculturalism: It was inspired by former North Quincy student and Armenian-American Dr. Allan Yacubian, who became a beloved local dentist and philanthropist.

It’s a disturbing irony that those who purport to celebrate multiculturalism oppose public symbols of multiculturalism. We saw this at the University of North Dakota, which in 2015 changed the name of its sports teams from historically significant Fighting Sioux to culturally neutered Fighting Hawks. The name Fighting Sioux kept history of the natives alive. Now this legacy is wiped from public display at the state’s most visible public institution.

Whitewashing history won’t change it, it won’t make it less corrupt; it’ll do just the opposite, it’ll create unbridled contempt with the sole purpose of division.

We fear the same mistake will happen in North Quincy. The culturally diverse people of Quincy support the Raiders, they support Yakoo, and they support the history and multiculturalism these tributes represent.

To conclude, Yakoo has been a beacon of Pride and Excellence AND EQUALITY for decades. However, as we’ve seen, when Facebook/social media provides a platform for little self-righteous groups trying to pass opinions as fact and personal feeling as inescapable truths, which then gets broadcasted to the masses, it turns less into discussion and more into bullying... Embrace Yakoo, set aside your prejudice and educate oneself on the true marriage of our past and present displayed in this iconic and beloved caricature.