Topic

Addressing Racist History

633 petitions

Update posted 3 hours ago

Petition to Brian Capistran, GUHSD Superintendent, Pam Reicks, GUHSD Board President, Patti Hussey, GUHSD Board Clerk, Patty Kennedy, GUHSD Board Member, Susan Maland, GUHSD Board Member, Andrew Pulcipher, GUHSD Board Member, Jason Latham, Thunderbird HS Principal, John Pierzchala, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal, Layne Peterson, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal, Dawn Bjork, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal

Change Thunderbird High School's Racist Mascot

Thunderbird High School of Phoenix, Arizona must change their mascot. Their current mascot- The Chiefs- is offensive to the culture of Native Americans. The native headdress, depicted in Thunderbird’s logo, is extremely sacred. It is unacceptable for a high school to diminish its value by mimicking the customs that an entire culture upholds. In the words of a Native American student who attends Thunderbird High School: “Being at the assemblies was usually fun and just a good time, but the second I saw white student council members wearing mock headpieces it made me uncomfortable. My friends and I just started discussing how quite frankly stupid they looked, and how it showed how little education they had on Native American culture. But what truly offended me was that the staff at my school allowed this. The mascot being a literal culture is just a free passage way for the students to mock our culture when they know only little to nothing about the sacredness of the headpieces and chants.” Students at Thunderbird are generally unaware of the racism that their mascot encompasses. This is most likely a result of their school system’s failure to teach about Native American history and tradition. We ask that Thunderbird High School ends its insensitivity towards Native Americans. The first step: changing its logo and mascot. There are thousands of students across the country taking action to change their offensive mascots. Keller High School in Keller, Texas currently has the mascot- The Indians. In a 2017 petition to change this mascot, the Society of Native Nations stated: “There are several reasons why the Indigenous people of this land should not be made into caricatures or mascots but most importantly, ‘I am not your mascot’. ‘We are not your mascot’ ‘No people, race, culture, religion or spirituality should not be a mascot’. Native Americans are Human Beings that are alive today, whose Ancestors survived genocide and died to protect our traditional way of life.” In fact, Thunderbird High School and all other schools in the Glendale Union High School District are built on O'odham, Akimel O'odham, and Hohokam land. Given that our schools have only flourished at the expense of Native American ground, the least Thunderbird can do is to quit flaunting racist imagery across campus. Our ultimate goal is to create a community of informed and tolerant students. This will never be possible if Thunderbird maintains its derogatory habits. To Superintendent Capistran, District President Reicks, Principal Latham, and all other members of the Glendale Union High School District board and Thunderbird High School administration: Show honor and respect toward the Indigenous people of this country. Stop normalizing cultural appropriation. Teach Arizona’s youth the importance of diversity and respect. End Thunderbird’s display of intolerance. Change the mascot. Sign this petition to demand that Glendale Union High School District removes the current mascot of Thunderbird High School- The Chiefs. It is a simple, attainable step in the direction towards a culturally aware Thunderbird community. The outdated mascot, offensive logo, and mockery headpieces worn at assemblies, all need to go. Thank you for signing.   Sources: https://www.change.org/p/change-keller-high-school-mascot https://native-land.ca/

Corin Friese
1,761 supporters
This petition won 21 hours ago

Petition to Cincinnati Country Day Board of Trustees

Have Cincinnati Country Day School change its mascot

Cincinnati Country Day School (est. 1926), currently has the mascot "Indians" for all of its sports teams. In light of the recent murder of George Floyd that sparked protests for equality around the nation, Cincinnati Country Day's Head of School Anthony Jaccaci sent out an email touting Country Day's commitment to "confronting issues of injustice, intolerance, and racism." The intent of this email was pure, but to send such an email when Country Day still bears the racist mascot of "Indians", feels performative and disingenuous at best.  If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Village of Indian Hill, the area in which Country Day resides, allow me to share an excerpt from an article I wrote on the topic nearly five years ago. "Long before it was called Indian Hill, the bountiful area was inhabited by the Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Tribes. In 1794, the Shawnees were defeated by General Anthony Wayne and forced to surrender most of their Ohio land. Tecumseh rallied his fellow Shawnees in 1811, but failed to reclaim the lands ceded. By 1833, the U.S. Government had forced the Shawnees to give up all Ohio land, including the land that makes up Indian Hill today." Indian Hill, and subsequently Cincinnati Country Day's mascot, are named after the very people that were evicted from their home because colonists decided that they wanted the land.  Anthony Jaccaci stated that at Cincinnati Country Day, they "wish for a community where all feel welcomed and equal regardless of background." Would a Native American student feel welcomed at Country Day? Furthermore, could any students of color truly feel welcomed at Country Day knowing that the school continues to bear such a mascot, thus implying that certain forms of racism are okay? Here is an article about the psychological effects of similar mascots. Here is a speech from Dahkota Brown, founder of Native Education Raising Dedicated Students, and appointee to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education on the topic. In my four years of university, I never felt that I could wear one of my dozens of Country Day t-shirts and sweatshirts to school or around my city, as it would seem that I approve of Cincinnati Country Day's mascot. I never can fully feel proud to say that I went to Cincinnati Country Day School, a school that incorporates a subtle piece of racism into its daily culture.  The racial disparity in America is currently receiving more attention than it ever has in most of our lifetimes. While our current focus is and should be on the discrimination against black people in America, that does not make other forms of discrimination acceptable. Please, change this mascot. Be a school that truly makes all students feel welcome and comfortable. Be a school that students, alumni, and faculty can truly be proud of.  

Kathryn Burress
2,204 supporters