Essay On American Indian Culture

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American Indian culture, characteristics, and history have been utilized in all aspects of society, from names to logos to clothing. However, what was originally meant as a way of honoring American Indian heritage has turned into discrimination in the past four decades. A Crayola crayon received the name “Indian Red,” and although the name was revoked, the color is still in circulation as well as the memory of the insulting name. Moreover, searching for the right Halloween costume? Try looking for an “Indian” costume that stores have the audacity to sell—complete with a stereotypical headdress, worn traditionally by only the most respected Indians in a tribe, such as chiefs and warriors, and face/war paint. While both of the examples previously mentioned are disrespectful to say the…show more content…
Next, stereotypical American Indian sports icons, such as Chief Wahoo—with bright red skin, a head feather, and a cheesy grin plastered on his face—worn by the Cleveland Indians, or the racial slur nicknames, like Washington’s professional football team, the Washington Redskins, are offensive, stereotypical, and often inaccurately portray American Indians. Max Larkin of WBUR wrote in his article Among Mass. Natives, Mascot Issue Reveals A Mix Of Pride And Pain that “The images are a force of a paradoxical invisibility on natives… many Americans know the mascots better than the real people they represent.” He is correct in the sense that Native American mascots do not depict who American Indians actually are. In fact, the mascots are nothing but mockery toward American Indian culture. The NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) states, “ NCAI’s position is clear, longstanding, and deeply rooted in our seventy years as a leading voice for Indian country—we advocate for and protect the civil rights, social justice, and racial equity of all Native people in all part of American society” in the article Ending the Era of Harmful “Indian” Mascots.
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