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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

From: sue hatch-silcott

This is a letter my Mother, Viola Hatch, has written to the Editor of the Canton Times newspaper. She has requested I send it on to Native News. Things like this happen all over in small schools.


Oct. 7, 2002

To the Editor of the Canton Times, Canton, Oklahoma

Our son and daughter-inlaw drive from Oklahoma City to attend and support the Canton Schools activities that our grandson participates in. As Grandparents we try to attend as much as possible.

What we saw at the halftime activity last Friday night by the Canton Tiger Mascots was very offensive to my family, as Indian people. We will not just let this pass!

At the halftime show, the Tiger mascots staged a mock massacre. The large mascot began jumping around trying to do a war dance and welding a plastic tomahawk and doing the "Tomahawk Chop" in front of the bleachers. Then he acted out an attack on the other mascot who laid on the ground while the other continued to the act of chopping the body of the one on the ground until the students drug the "body" off the field to the delight and amusement of some of the spectators.

This shows a preconceived idea of what is thought about the Indian: As brutal savages!

Racial stereotyping still abounds in this community, as shown by the senseless conduct of the mascots. This is a fair example of insensitive feelings about the Indian people in the community. I know there are a lot of non-Indian people that respect their Indian neighbors. But there are others who are still prejudice. They don't realize that everyone is not alike. We need to teach the children "Respect". Respect for each other.

The reasons many young people today have no respect for others or themselves is because it is not taught at home nor in the schools. The younger ones see that it is all right and fun to have a mascot beat another with a weapon.

What are you implying?

If there are Rules against weapons at school, why was this stupid act allowed? If it had been an individual student doing this on the school grounds he would have been suspended. You see it in the news everyday. Was it because this was a school-sponsored act that nothing was done?

The person responsible for this should be reprimanded. There should be some type of sensitivity training on the Ethnic Diversity in the community.

Our family does not go along with the Status Quo. If there is something wrong we let you know about it.

By the way...Tigers do not carry "Tomahawks".

I have spoken.

Viola Hatch

Related links
Team names and mascots
Savage Indians
Highlights of the US report to the UN on racism

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