Change the Tecumseh High School mascot

Change the Tecumseh High School mascot

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Bee Wilson started this petition to tecumseh and

Tecumseh, a small town in Michigan, is named for the highly esteemed Shawnee chief Chief Tecumseh, who was a great ambassador for his people and stood as a symbol for tribal unity. He is revered as a great warrior, orator, and chief, and to this day is considered a hero among Native American tribes throughout the USA. 

Tecumseh High School, however, has done a terrible job at honoring this great man. The town football team is known as the Tecumseh Indians, and the mascot is a Native American wearing a ceremonial headdress. At pep rallies and football games, a member of the THS faculty or a student dresses as a Native American in a cheap Native American costume with a headdress, face paint, and a tomahawk, and proceeds to run around waving the tomahawk and prompting members of the audience to chant in a mock Native American song while also using their arms to perform a chopping motion. This act is always performed by a white Caucasian male, and has been widely regarded as "harmless" by Tecumseh High School officials and townspeople. 

However, as a THS alumni, I recognize this for what it is: cultural appropriation. It wasn't until I graduated and entered college did I begin to understand and recognize what cultural appropriation is, and how harmful it is to the cultures being appropriated. Having a white man dress in a mockery of a Native American costume and run around yelling and waving a tomahawk whilst also provoking a crowd to perform a racist hand gesture is absolutely unacceptable, and has no place in the public school districts of America in 2019. 

My petition is to change the Tecumseh High School mascot from an "Indian" to a Shooting Star. Chief Tecumseh's name meant "shooting star," and I believe this would honor his memory and legacy much better than a culturally appropriated and racially insensitive "Indian." The mascot could then be a person dressed in a star costume; this would be much, much more politically correct, and would not be feeding into the cultural appropriation problem so many of the United States cities and towns harbor. 

It is 2019, and cultural appropriation has no place in our society. Let's help prove that by changing this racist and appropriative mascot today! I know change is scary, and I have heard the argument that Tecumseh's mascot has been an "Indian" for generations, but it's time to step into the 21st century, and admit our wrongs, and work together to correct them. 

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