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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

VIEWPOINT:  Make more Indian warrior images

By David A. Yeagley

OKLAHOMA CITY — It's an "ethnic cleansing" to remove all Indian mascots and monikers from American schools and universities. It's a "virtual" genocide.

Since January 2001, I've praised the great Indian warrior image. I've written columns for the onlilne Front Page Magazine and elsewhere, appeared on radio shows throughout the country and also on national television.

I see great value in the Indian warrior image. When I spoke for the Sioux Falls (S.D.) City Club on Sept. 14, just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, I said, "This is not a time to remove Indian warrior images. Make more of them!"

I started with the Fighting Sioux at UND. I love that name, "Fighting Sioux." I honor that generation of warriors who earned such a reputation.

As an Oklahoma Comanche, I feel that name honors all Indian people.

It's true, "Oklahoma" Indians have a different sociopsychological history from northern Plains Indians. We're not as connected to Oklahoma land.

We were all "removed" from our homelands and stuffed here into one "Indian Territory." We were stripped of our original environmental affinities.

But Indians of northern reservations still feel the power of their homeland, and they are more sensitive to abuse. Racial conflict is more intense in the north.

There are problems when sports teams use Indian names and images. Some of these problems are very real and very ugly.

Up north, Indian sports names occasion offensive phrases and gestures when schools express rivalry. "Kill the Sioux," for example, just sounds too literal, because it once was the cry of white invaders.

But worse is the juvenile vulgarity sometimes used by students competing against teams with Indian names. The insults and obscenities hurled against the team with the Indian name definitely degrade the Indian mascot.

Yet, that's the purpose of sports rivalry. It's all about intimidation.

That's why schools chose Indian warrior names in the first place. It was to unnerve the opponent.

Sports competition, after all, is the civilized alternative to war. It's all for fun, in good sportsmanship.

However, white Leftists such as those who dominate the Indian Studies program at UND teach that Indian monikers inevitably lower the self-esteem of the Indian person. A mascot is a thing, not a real person. Therefore, the Indian is insulted by any image not expressing his full humanity.

But this is a diabolic façade.

It's the Left that wants Indians to have low self-esteem. The Left needs "victims" to show their compassion, to disguise their political subversion of America.

It's racism, and it's far more degrading than being called a "warrior."

Leftists, keep your compassion. Call me savage!

But that warrior image is precisely what the Left wants removed. Anti-American socialists can't win if there are true American warriors around.

I'll take my chances with the Great White American Warrior, the very one who defeated me. I'm strong enough to stand with him.

I reject the treacherous, anti-America white Leftist and his deceptive use of my great warrior people for his selfish designs. I'll not have Indians used as Leftist puppets accusing America or as arrows in the white man's conscience.

As an Indian, I'd rather accept defeat in pride than be "helped" by depraved Leftist humiliation. I'd rather be a good sport about defeat than belly-ache forever.

No, don't dare remove Indian warrior images. Make more.

Any real problem with school rivalry and Indian mascots must be corrected by administrators. Authorities simply must outlaw abuse, effectively.

And schools must mandate true education about Indian people.

Today, America is threatened from within and without. We all need to recover the true meaning and worth of the Indian warrior. This is an occasion, not for puerile vulgarity, or Leftist deception, but deep spiritual renewal.

The Fighting Sioux says it all.

Yeagley teaches humanities at the College of Liberal Stud ies at the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Comanche Tribe of Lawton, Okla.

(c) 2001 Grand Forks Herald. All rights reserved

Rob's reply
"Call me savage!" I appreciate it when the stereotyper and the stereotype are one and the same. It saves me the trouble of sorting them out.

Yeagley says "Some of these problems are very real and very ugly," but adds "it's all for fun." Well, why waste our time bringing up "real" problems you don't believe are real? Are they paying you to write that nothing's wrong and everything's peachy?

Note how Yeagley says Indians should be good sports about being defeated. Live it up and toast your losses, people. As a coach once said, if you're going to get raped, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.

Talk about your loser philosophy. Yeagley admits being defeated and needing cartoon-like images to bolster his self-worth. Better he should see a psychiatrist and get some therapy. Let's hope he can feel good about himself someday without using juvenile gimmicks.

Why debating Yeagley is pointless
A response to another Yeagley article on mascots:

>> The Commission said Indian names and mascots could be seen as "disrespectful and offensive" by Indian groups and can create "a racially hostile educational environment that may be intimidating to Indian students." How can the image of an Indian warrior be intimidating to Indians? <<

A blatant twisting of words. The Commission said the environment was intimidating, not the image. This is an example of why it would be pointless to debate Yeagley. I'd wipe the floor with his sloppy thinking, but he probably wouldn't realize it.

>> I tried to put this question to Russell Means on the Hannity & Colmes show, April 2. He didn't have much of an explanation <<

As usual, see Fighting Sioux vs. Fighting Irish for the explanation of why the warrior image is wrongheaded. It's the definitive answer, in my humble opinion. <g>

>> I asked questions. I was polite. <<

Even more reason why I'd win the debate. I don't need to wait for a question to dispute Yeagley's claim that liberals are imposing political correctness on Indians. As you know, the list of grassroots Native organizations that oppose mascots is a mile long.

>> He called me unintelligent. <<

Could be a valid point....

>> And he kept repeating the same mantras over and over again, about feelings and "hate speech." <<

Better to start with the documented opposition to the mascots and the documented reasons why. Leave the emotional arguments for the closing speech. Don't base your whole debate on them.

>> Indians can differ on this issue. <<

Yes, and most of them differ with Yeagley.

>> It's called freedom. Indians must decide the mascot question for themselves. <<

They've done it. It's decided. Yeagley loses if that's his only argument.

>> But, for some reason, the press never mentions the fact that the Sioux elders themselves wanted the university to use that name. <<

Some Indian leaders were swayed into supporting mascots against their better judgment. But the '80s was a long time ago. What do Sioux elders say now, since the mascot issue has gained so much publicity?

>> In fact, the UND protests are led by leftist faculty Indians who aren't Sioux, but Ojibwa and Arikara, historical enemies of the Sioux. <<

Is there a single mascot opponent who opposes some mascots but not others based on which tribe is the mascot? I don't think so. I've never heard of such a person, anyway. A straw-man argument.

>> It's not their decision, nor any other Sioux's decision, to reverse the will of the Standing Rock tribal council. <<

It's not the Standing Rock council's position to speak for all Sioux or all Indians. The mascot issue transcends the feelings of any one tribe.

But if Yeagley wants to eliminate every generic team name—"Redskins," "Braves," "Chiefs," etc.—and keep only the UND name because some council approved it, okay. That would be a huge step forward. Is that Yeagley's position...or is it a sham argument? I'm guessing the latter.

>> The Indian way of deciding issues is through the council of elders, not through professional racial agitators or federally appointed Indians. <<

No council of elders has authority over multiple tribes or multiple schools or names with no connection to either. Again: "Redskins," "Braves," "Chiefs," etc. Seeking a nonexistent council to "rule" on these names is again a sham argument. It's an obvious dodge.

>> I say, let each tribe of Indian people decide for itself the mascot issue. <<

Where to begin ridiculing this silly suggestion? How about with the Washington Redskins, a team with the National Football League, with no affiliation to any particular tribe? Who decides on their name? Nobody, apparently, which means the name stays, which is the way Yeagley obviously wants it. His ploy is as transparent as glass.

>> Put it to a vote among the Indians. <<

Okay, let's put all the mascot names to a single vote of the enrolled Indian population. A majority determines whether they all stay or go. Since something like 80% of Indians oppose mascots, they're sure to go.

Of course, this vote will never happen. It's yet another dodge on Yeagley's part. He's inventing fictitious solutions to distract attention from the real solution, which is to listen to the collective voice of the Indian people affected by each name. An Indian doesn't have to be a Sioux to think "Fighting Sioux" is wrong, and so on down the mascot list.

>> Dr. David A. Yeagley teaches humanities and psychology at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City. <<

With his phony, manipulative arguments, I believe he's a professor of psychology. I wouldn't believe he was a professor of rhetoric, law, or public policy.

I'll keep Yeagley's address for future reference, but I still don't plan to contact him. I don't need to experience someone's twisting my arguments and wasting my time. Having seen Yeagley's best arguments, I'd say the debate is over. I (and you) won; he lost.


Related links
Yeagley the Indian apple
Team names and mascots
Fighting the Fighting Sioux
Fighting Sioux vs. Fighting Irish

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