FanDuel - WFBC

August 15, 2005

Just when you thought it was safe to homogenize sports mascots: This article from four and a half years ago pops up. Conservative Indian David Yeagley chimes in with "The 'communist' NCAA committee rules against the Indian warrior. No images of strength allowed." Be sure to read the first link first in order to have a reference for the second.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to culture at 09:45 AM - 43 comments

Can I just say that David Yeagley makes me embarassed to be an Amerind?? He works for his own interests to the detriment of the entire Oklahoma Indian community. He seems to seek out opportunities to denigrate Native American people. He took Scott Morrison's place railing against tribes for the anti-Indian groups. He is bright. But as a friend put it, "He must have a warped conscience." As you know, the Bill O'Reilly's of the world will give their eye-teeth to find a black guy who is against affiormative action, etc... This is much the same. He made a name for himself during the Ward Churchill mess (even claiming Churchill was not a real Indian), and is now trying to coattail this at 14 minutes and counting. "Hi, remember me?? Self-loathing Injun here..." Oh, and just for Laffs.... According to sources at the Comanche headquarters, David is not Comanche. His adopted mother is Comanche. Did David know this when he applied to become a Kellogg Fellow in their Indian Leadership program? Does he owe them some money? David released a CD titled "Awakening," of so-called Indian flute music. Is he in violation beyond basic ethics, or of federal laws regarding the marketing of arts and crafts by non-Indians? He says he is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation. Itís been said that the mark of a great con is detail. David has provided his family tree as proof of his Comanche blood. The trouble is, itís not HIS blood he is listing. With the acquittal of Michael Jackson, we are reminded of another person who has altered his face to look like something else. Yeagley has gone through several cosmetic changes to appear more Indian. Now we understand why he hates Indians: He's not one, and that makes the world a little saner. Later. For more juicy details about Uncle Tomohawk, may I refer you to: Harjo: One small and unworthy man

posted by LostInDaJungle at 10:25 AM on August 15

Well, the one thing I would agree with in that 2001 article was that he said most Indian people call themselves "Indians" and not Native American, which is consistent with my experience. I guess those of us related to plain old non-famous Indians are out of luck. I don't know though, maybe I would go around yapping about it all of the time if I was related to a famous Indian...I don't know. Some of his points are fair enough, like the flaws he perceives in the studies/surveys done on the nicknames/mascots and that he believes the names show strength, not weakness. An Indian artist also did design the Sioux Indian head logo (although I think he was Chippewa, not Sioux). He is also right that they won't ever remove the Fighting Sioux name from UND, but I thing that is part of the problem and how we got where we are today. It a power struggle. I don't see how its any worse for the NCAA to decide the fate (at least as it relates to playoffs etc.) of something like the Fighting Sioux name, than it is for Engelstad to come in and buy everbody off (at least he is dead now). I'm sure UND is pissed because The Ralph (the new Engelstad arena) is the site of the 2006 west regional for hockey and it has a couple thousand Indian head logos around the inside of the building. Good luck covering all of that shit up. I have also heard it implied that Engelstad had it designed specifically to have the controversial logo everywhere in the building, so it looks like his own assholishness maybe the cause of that problem, covering the logo, I mean. I think the Florida State Seminoles have a better case than UND as far as being backed by the tribes in question. The Seminoles (in Florida, anyway, and apparently Oklahoma too) back the usage of the name. But I don't think that type of support has ever been in place at UND: "UND President Charles E. Kupchella couldn't cite any Indian support for the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo. On the contrary, Sioux tribes in the Great Plains have passed resolutions against the name." And its OT, LostInDaJungle, but I don't think Ward Churchill is Indian and I wouldn't be shocked to find the same to be true of Yeagley, but I'm only suspicious of him, not sure of it. That is at least questionable as you can see by the Harjo article you linked to.

posted by chris2sy at 11:01 AM on August 15

I disagree with him in the first link because I think a group of people should have the right to decide what they want to be called. Asian / not Oriental. Native American / not Indian. Black/ not Negro. That power belongs to the people and no one should judge people for that. At the same time, the Indian students have to accept their own responsibility for helping to create the "hostile environment" they now face. He just couldn't be more wrong about this. The desire to change a mascot should not bring with it these consequences. The only people who need to accept responsibility are the people who are actually creating a hostile environment. I don't like the NCAA's decision for a variety of different reasons that I mentioned in the other post. However, this sort of rhetoric frightens me. Rants, no logic, calling the NCAA communists. Does this really further the discussion at all?

posted by bperk at 11:05 AM on August 15

The only problem I have with that argument is it still relates back to your skin color. WHen was the last time you took a poll or filled out a job application, ANd the word AMERICAN was listed? I was born here , my father was not, does this make me less of an AMERICAN? The term Caucasian describes my skin , NOT my heritage. We are still arguing about things that happened any where for 50 to 150 years ago! The idea behind history is to learn and not repeat the same mistakes. That is how humankind evolves. If we don't everyone dies doing the same thing over and over again. This country has still been here for over 200 years. They were called Americans then to. When they signed the Declaration of Independence, did they sign their name as Engligh background, or French background or other? We get to hung up in what a name is.

posted by volfire at 11:42 AM on August 15

I suppose the newest developments are the challenges by Florida State and UND to the NCAA decision. The UND letter . The FSU letter .

posted by chris2sy at 12:18 PM on August 15

When is the NCAA going to force Notre Dame to change their mascot? Fighting Irish...isn't that the same thing? I think the NCAA was trying to do the right thing here...but once again they have missed the mark by a long way. As Keith Jackson would say...'FUMBLE!'

posted by stofer71 at 12:59 PM on August 15

I still cannot get the gist of how and actual name, or derived from, I.E. Sioux,Cheppewa's, Ute, or Illini(who were a group of tribes native to Illinois), are harmfull,abusive,or disrespectful.

posted by volfire at 02:54 PM on August 15

When is the NCAA going to force Notre Dame to change their mascot? When an Irish group makes a complaint. The NCAA has said that it didn't consider the Fighting Irish because no one has opposed it.

posted by rcade at 03:06 PM on August 15

I still cannot get the gist of how and actual name, or derived from, I.E. Sioux,Cheppewa's, Ute, or Illini(who were a group of tribes native to Illinois), are harmfull,abusive,or disrespectful. It has been explained quite a few times in the course of these threads. Can you be more precise, and say exactly what eludes you in the various explanations you've been given? Otherwise, you're just saying, "But why? But why?"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:19 PM on August 15

The Illini were a tribe 50,000 strong, reduced to a tribe of 700 by the 1800's. At the time of the arrival of the white man around 1600 there were as many as sixty Illini villages. In reality, the last 132 Illini were forcibly relocated from Illinois in 1833. They became entangled in the Beaver wars between the French and Hoshonni, and were finally wiped out after the Louisana Purchase gave way to manifest destiny. For better or worse (mostly "for worse") the Illini Confederacy was the First Nation most loyal to the French. Their reward was a steady deterioration of relations with neighboring Native American tribes which had not been particularly good to begin with. By alligning themselves with the French, the Illini had antagonized the Fox, the Iroquois, the Chickasaw and the Potawatomi nations, to say nothing of the English. And now the English considered the Illinois Country to be theirs. The English dispatched the Illini with great prjudice, making sure to kill even children and women. To this day, there are only a few hundred Illini left, living as a part of the Peoria Tribe in Oklahoma. The chief wears Oglala regalia purchased from Oglala people. The music is Hollywood western. Chief Illiniwek's performance cannot be traced to any tribal dance style. It is derived from Wild West shows, Boy Scout rituals, and western movies. The romantic stereotype of the Plains Indian warrior was created in Wild West shows, circuses, western movies, and Boy Scout and club rituals. This stereotype continues to inhabit halftime performances. War Paint was a Sioux tradition, the Illini were Algonquin. In all, it is estimated that between 18 and 36 Million people died in the conquest of the new world. Would a team named the Berlin Hebes, or the Dusseldorf Rabbi's complete with a hook nosed orthodox jew mascot doing Fiddler on the Roof be offensive?? In the case of FSU, they use the term "Scalp 'em" in their fight song, have an on-campus "scalp hunters" club, etc... I assume you realize that Seminoles were not known for scalping people. "Chief" and "Brave" are not words from our culture, don't denote any type of social rank... Indian Leaders were introduced as "Kings" to the courts of Europe, terms like Chief and Brave have their origins in The Wild West shows, when the "Injun Fighters" would brag of their exploits. The stereotype Indian portrayed by "Chief Illiniwek" (a fictional charachter) has no basis in any indian culture, but finds it roots in the Wild West shows of Bill Hickock, and the racist slander that was used in the newspapers to justify our slaughter. Would the Irish be insulted if Notre Dame had two midgets dressed as Leprechauns doing Riverdance... And then be told they're just honoring Irish culture?? The shame of it is, I understand that the History of the Irish isn't a long parade of Riverdancing Billy Barty's dressed in green. You actually think these mascots are culturally accurate or signifigant. If my father killed someone, and their child was insulted that I kept a photo of the person in my wallet, I would take it out immediately. Even if I really was doing it to honor them... It would be enough for me to know that it offended someone I felt I owed some decency to.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 03:32 PM on August 15

"But why? But why?" And the answer appears to always be: "Because! Because!" Again, how is the name harmful, abusive, etc.? I don't think anyone disagrees that the caricatures are wrong. But if the mere use of a name is disrespectful, then does the nickname Patriot dishonor all patriots?

posted by graymatters at 03:42 PM on August 15

I agree Lost with all of the examples that you have given as to the ways that cultural imagery should not be used. I believe that the NCAA should have addressed each of those issues (and any other ones) specifically. The NCAA made an error by not dealing with the harmful imagery and instead focusing on the names themselves.

posted by bperk at 03:44 PM on August 15

Yeah, but it's all part and parcel - the name and the imagery. Would calling a team the West Berlin Hesidics (in deference to the former Jewish population) and dressing a goddamn mascot in acceptable, traditional clothing make it 'honoring'?!? No - it's crass, ignorant and totally insensitive. It does not befit a civilization that is knowledgable about history.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:03 PM on August 15

The chief wears Oglala regalia purchased from Oglala people. That paragraph pretty much sums up (or adds to) what I said about it earlier. That they went out to South Dakota to get some "authentic Indian tradition" to use in Illinois.

posted by chris2sy at 04:09 PM on August 15

Again, how is the name harmful, abusive, etc.? The name encourages negative and disrespectful stereotypes about Native Americans.

posted by rcade at 04:10 PM on August 15

It seems to be very much in controversy if the name without the negative stereotypes can be seen as an honor. The Seminole Tribe of Florida and many other Native Americans seem to think that it is an honor. While the NCAA and other Native Americans think that it cannot. By what method do we decide what is tasteless when there is widely divergent views?

posted by bperk at 04:31 PM on August 15

I agree with Lost (and others) posts regarding innacurate or insensitive usage of mascots. These things are not acceptable. Is there any way an Indian mascot could be used that is positive and acceptable? Is there any example's of approved (for lack of a better word) usage? I don't profess to know enough about the Seminole people to know if Fla St.'s mascot is patronizing or not. I certainly didn't know about the 'scalp clubs', that is just plain wrong. But I am curious if the problem is how these images are being used or that they are used at all.

posted by stofer71 at 04:35 PM on August 15

Again, how is the name harmful, abusive, etc.? And I ask again, how is a name change harmful? On another note...am I the only one who sees the marketing opportunity generated if the alleged offending schools or pro sports teams change their mascot?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:38 PM on August 15

Also...this gets often overlooked...the reason Native Americans found the word "Indian" offensive is because English settlers gave them the moniker, saying they "looked like Indians"...you know...from India?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:45 PM on August 15

...the reason Native Americans found the word "Indian" offensive is because English settlers gave them the moniker, saying they "looked like Indians"...you know...from India? Sounds like we need to start from scratch then. American Indian itself could be considered offensive. Now I am totally confused.

posted by stofer71 at 05:19 PM on August 15

am I the only one who sees the marketing opportunity generated if the alleged offending schools or pro sports teams change their mascot? Then, maybe all of the schools and pro teams should institute a policy of changing their names every 10 years or so. They could even hold contests, etc. for the publicity. Look, for all of you who mistakenly think I am a bigot or something, let me make it clear. I have no problem with FSU, Ill. or any other school changing its mascot name, if that is what it chooses to do. I have no problem with self-determination. My problem is with someone (NCAA or whomever) seeking to dictate, through an incomplete and unexplained and I believe misguided policy, such a change. Let the schools decide.

posted by graymatters at 05:41 PM on August 15

Well, maybe not "offensive" as such, stofer...but do you call African-Americans "colored people"? Terms do become dated, they're always in flux, and so no term is universally accepted: at the point where one group is getting comfortable with term A, another group is moving on to term B. Personally, I sorta like the Canadian term, "First Nations". I'm happy to call people what they want to be called, and I won't raise a big fuss about it and get all offended if I use one term and someone tells me they'd rather that I use another term, or if all the Indians/Native Americans/First Nations people agree on the same term. It's not all that hard to switch gears.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:41 PM on August 15

Let the schools decide. The schools can decide, graymatters. They just can't show up at a NCAA tournament with their tomahawk-chopping, mother's-makeup-wearing, drunk-off-their-asses caricatures.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:44 PM on August 15

" The name encourages negative and disrespectful stereotypes about NAtive Americans" Whats disrespectfull about their name? It is Their name after all. Redman, Savages, I get , but a tribal name ?

posted by volfire at 05:56 PM on August 15

When recently have you seen ANYONE refer to an African-American as a "Colored person"? Any African-American I know would hand you your teeth on a plate.

posted by volfire at 05:59 PM on August 15

When recently have you seen ANYONE refer to an African-American as a "Colored person"? Any African-American I know would hand you your teeth on a plate. That's kind of the point, volfire. Tell me something. People have explained this issue to you over and over and over again, so let me ask a slightly different question. If you were referring to someone by a name that they found incredibly rude, but they weren't in a position to "hand you your teeth on a plate" -- say, you're talking about a small, elderly, frail Jewish woman -- would you just go ahead and continue being rude?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:39 PM on August 15

But if the mere use of a name is disrespectful, then does the nickname Patriot dishonor all patriots? Are you freaking thick? The name isn't disrespectful, the imagery used is. Which means your Patriot example (though it made me stop, salute a 50' flag and sing a couple verses of Lee Greenwood) is completely out of place, since the New England Patriots use of the mascot glorifies it. This is also why the Fighting Irish example people keep bringing up is silly: what green-blooded American male is embarrased by that stereotype?

posted by yerfatma at 06:43 PM on August 15

Whats disrespectfull about their name? It is Their name after all. Attaching the name to a sports team encourages fans and opponents of that team to engage in negative and disrespectful stereotypes of Native Americans. I'm not saying that's so compelling an argument that every school should immediately drop these mascots. But to me, it explains clearly why the NCAA doesn't want to perpetuate this stuff. Florida State and the other schools don't have to drop their mascots. They could participate in NCAA events as "Florida State" and leave all the Seminole-related stuff back in Tallahassee.

posted by rcade at 07:28 PM on August 15

Are you freaking thick? The name isn't disrespectful, the imagery used is. Quite possibly so, but you definitely are. I said in the same post that I agree that the caricatures are wrong. But what is wrong with the name? If The name isn't disrespectful as you say, then why forbid it's use. When we ask you to defend the banning of the name, all you can do is attack the imagery, which we agree is wrong.

posted by graymatters at 08:35 PM on August 15

Then, maybe all of the schools and pro teams should institute a policy of changing their names every 10 years or so. For a one time event, this would mean a massive windfall for any pro team and any division I school, especially if they integrated a fan vote into the name change. I can't believe these greedy souls haven't considered the financial gain.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 09:10 PM on August 15

For a one time event, this would mean a massive windfall for any pro team and any division I school, especially if they integrated a fan vote into the name change. Yeah. Like the blue M&Ms.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:32 PM on August 15

I don't think it would be a large profit-making venture to change names. You would lose all the positive brand recognition that is associated with the name. You might get a short-term spike, but long-term you would lose out. I believe the ruling prevents schools with the mascot from hosting any NCAA tournament. I think it is pretty clear that the purpose of that ruling is to force schools to change mascots.

posted by bperk at 08:57 AM on August 16

I'll ask this again... Is there any way an Indian mascot could be used that is positive and acceptable? Is there any example's of approved (for lack of a better word) usage?

posted by stofer71 at 09:27 AM on August 16

stofer, why do you ask that question? If you want some kind of universal acceptance, then no, you're not going to get it. Okay? I think human mascots tend toward the idiotic. God's sake, there's a local Catholic school whose sports teams are called the Gaels. "It's an Irish viking!" the team members snap defensively when anyone asks them WTF a Gael is. Picture of a big-hair blond man with a longhorn helmet, waving a battleaxe and looking like he's about to pillage...western Massachusetts. Yeah. Stupid. A bunch of teenaged girls look as silly with that as their mascot, as a bunch of white people do calling themselves "Indians".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:24 AM on August 16

If you want some kind of universal acceptance, then no, you're not going to get it. Okay? I understand you can't make all the people happy all of the time. But this issue seems to be pretty split. While everyone agrees (or seems to) that negative or inacurate 'mascot images' is wrong, many seem to disagree what is the definition of negative is. (evidenced by the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe endorsing Fla St's mascot) I am curios to see if the people opposed to mascot usage are opposed to all usage...or just these examples.

posted by stofer71 at 03:04 PM on August 16

(evidenced by the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe endorsing Fla St's mascot) The read more about the Black Seminole and the Oklahoma tribes, who do protest the use of the name. Do 200 Seminole who were given special privelage by US authorities constitute acceptance by every Amerind everywhere?? Those same "fierce warriors" who eventually negotiated a payoff for their surrender? Someone refresh my memory, was it 1000 dollars for each of the 143 warriors?? Osceola headed a band of 200 renegades, or terrorists as the new terms work, and was never a "Chief". Although neither a hereditary nor an elected chief, Osceola was the defiant young leader of the Seminole in their resistance to Indian emigration. The only reason he or his ancestry can claim to lead the Seminole is because the US govt. gave special recognition to this band of 200 renegades so they'd stop killing US soldiers. F the other 40 odd thousand Seminoles who found themselves on the trail of tears. Let's just say the "Seminole Tribal Council" is not thought highly of by even it's own tribal members. And less so by peoples of other tribes. The funny thing is, the groups you honor with these "Brave Warrior" images were usually the collaborators with the whites, and universally reviled by their Amerind neighbors. Really, the only usage I see that is acceptible, as ruled by the NCAA as well, is to have it used for schols with a large Indian population. One of the reasons the "Fighting Irish" is not deroggatory (IMHO), is because Notre Dame was a predominantly Irish Catholic school. It falls under the same logic that dictates that Woody Allen can tell Jewish Jokes, and Andrew Dice Clay can't. A lot of Seminoles don't agree with the use of their tribe as a mascot, Stein said. "It's a huge economic thing down there, it's big business. In this country, money is god. UNC Penbrooke is allowed to keep it's mascot, why?? UNC-P, which uses the nickname of the Braves and has a logo with an American Indian on it, exclusively served American Indian students for 67 years. Here is a portrait of Chief Osceola, the leader that is supposedly portrayed by the Seminole mascot: Gosh, he doesn't look like a loin cloth wearing savage to me... Where's the flaming spear?? Chief Osceola, a student dressed in traditional clothing and wearing war paint, rides the horse Renegade into the stadium and hurls a flaming spear into the ground to excite the players and fans before football games. "They think (that image portrays) savagery," Westerhaus said." No.... Really?? Injuns in war paint, feathered headdresses, and a loin cloth are a red version of a Picaninny. A Sambo.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 04:14 PM on August 16

Again attacking the caricatures and stereotypes, but not addressing the name itself.

posted by graymatters at 04:35 PM on August 16

Lost - Please let's see some facts. I would love to see a link or a source for this take on Seminole history. But, a couple of things, the Florida Seminoles have never surrendered. The Indians in Florida were protecting their own land and that is not terrorism. Lots of Seminoles did not leave Florida. Osceola led thousands of warriors, not 200. 200 is an estimate of how many Seminoles were left in the Everglades after the hostilities with the US ended. The Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma has no problem with the use by Florida State of the name or mascot.

posted by bperk at 07:44 PM on August 16

Well, FSU used to be a lot worse as far as the caricature shit goes. Chief Fullabull? What the fuck is that? So, its less offensive now than it used to be. The Oklahoma Seminoles were (not sure if that one requires registration) also insulted by the dumbass officials at FSU during this NCAA development. So, I think lots of people maybe didn't realize that the Oklahoma Seminoles (the tribe anyway) supported FSU. Including some dumbasses at FSU.

posted by chris2sy at 11:12 AM on August 17

lil and Lost, Holy crap...just answer my question! Is there a way these images can be used that wouldn't be offensive? You two seem to be wound pretty tight on this one. I respect that and your point of view. But stop repeating the same thing and try answering my question. Quit telling me why the current usage is offensive and try telling me if there is a way the Seminole nation (or any other Indian tribe) could be represented that was positive.

posted by stofer71 at 12:03 PM on August 17

Holy crap...just answer my question! Talk about being wound tight...stofer, if you live in a black and white world where there's an answer to every question and a simple solution to every problem, then I'm glad for you. My world doesn't work that way, and I'm certainly not wound pretty tight on this one, as you suggest. Have a look here about 6 comments down for my perspective, and a possible answer to Is there a way these images can be used that wouldn't be offensive? I think the answer to that question is, it depends on who you ask. In that link you'll see I don't personally find the images offensive, but it's not for me to say whether it's offensive or not to someone else. It's kind of like having a brother who's a real di(k...you know he's a di(k...you tell him he's a di(k...but god help anyone outside your family who calls him a di(k. Make sense?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 01:09 PM on August 17

Tex, thank you for offering your perspective. I understand that all of this is subjective and murky. What I haven't heard...on this thread or elsewhere...is if the people who are opposed to these images are opposed to any usage...or just the way these images are being used. There is a distinction between those two points of view. If they are opposed to all usage then there really isn't much to discuss and a lot of teams are going to be compelled to change their names. If not...perhaps Fla St (and other team/universitys...i keep using them as the example) can keep their tradition as proud Seminoles (side note...I can't stand FlaSt...but in my experience pride is something their fan base has in excess) with better imagery and truly honoring the Seminole Nation. I think a mascot can be a source of pride for a lot of people. And that can be a good thing.

posted by stofer71 at 02:29 PM on August 17

Bperk, first of all, it's called sarcasm. The Iraquis are defending their homes and are called "Terrorists". Surrender is a subjective term I guess, but what is this?? General Jesup was unable to defeat the Seminoles, who subjected his troops to punishing hit-and-run attacks, before disappearing into the wilderness. He negotiated an agreement whereby the blacks and Indians would emigrate west voluntarily, keeping their property and their weapons. Well, we didn't lose, you just won. After this, Osceola was left with two hundred men... As far as the linked USA Today article: Thursday in The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, said he had no objection to the school's use of Seminoles as a nickname and mascot, reversing the position of a tribe spokesman earlier this summer. Sorry I wasn't up on the sudden reversal. Honestly thought, I wouldn't put too much faith in it simply because I don't know all of the details yet either. As far as the rest, I'm not liking all over the internet to get you the information that keeps coming up exactly as I described it. The link you provide does not back up your claim. Osceola was a Creek in Alabama and a Seminole in florida. He did not change ó he remained a Tallassee ó but white perceptions of him did. Quite frankly there's also alot of wrong info out there too. Finally, Stofer, I pointed out one example that was fine, UNC Penbrooke.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 09:53 AM on August 18

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