Call to Action
The 2020 cancel culture movement has inspired coordinated attacks on Native themed schools and sports teams across the nation. The play book of the change activist at the professional ranks has been to pressure corporate interests to leverage their influence with the franchises. To date, the Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Braves, and Kansas City Chiefs have resisted succumbing to these heavy handed tactics. Unfortunately, the Washington Redskins folded under financial duress, and not because of any concession to the false narrative concerning the name or logo propagated by the activist elites.
At the public school level, the play book has been to find a student or alum to start a petition demanding a name change. The far left leaning Center for American Progress has been very active in this coordinated campaign. The play book extends to having someone claiming to have been "bullied" as a result of the school's Native theme after decades of no such instances. Most often the offended party is recruited by the change activists. In Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, it was the son of a local activist who was recruited only to find him wearing Redskin apparel and admitting his mother put him up to it. This illustrates the lengths the activists in this hate movement will go to get their way. Finally, the play book includes someone claiming to have been the victim of some racial slur, usually at a school board meeting. Of course, it is impossible to prove a negative, but the truth matters not all to these radicals.
The claiming of "offense" is the weapon they use to gain power, and it is the power to destroy. However, offense is a two way street, and many in the Native American community as well as many in these school communities alike are truly offended by the modern day Indian Removal campaign systematically playing out, resulting in an effective cultural genocide. This campaign too often has become a platform for woke liberal elites to brandish their "anti-racism" credentials on the backs of Native Americans.
It is long past due that community stakeholders hold their school boards accountable for listening to both sides of this debate rather than quickly folding to the bully tactics of the change activists. We live in a majority rule society not a mob rule society. In a democratic, tolerant, law and order civil society we don't always get what we want, but those in this radical movement demand their way or the highway. It is time for school boards to respect the will of the majority of the Native American community and the majority of the members of their communities at large. School's who have had a proud Native theme for decades only to have them callously taken away, are left with a wound that NEVER heals. A member of a community who fell victim to such a forced name change, eloquently penned the following description of the devastation left behind in its wake. https://www.recorder.com/my-turn-pinardi-CommunitySupport-NativeAmericans-24901402?fbclid=IwAR0M3G7wcYrYejg_WL-r7Y65Y8x-DKbQpgtFs7HB9k4P74j1W6y3uyB7cIM
A longitudinal study conducted by Andre Billeaudeaux reveals that students who experience a forced school name change typically suffer from increased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and a reduction in academic performance as well as even suicide.
NAGA is committed to helping these communities with proud Native traditions to defend the ground we still hold. We do not endeavor to demand anything of these communities other than a fair hearing of both sides of the debate. We have ultimate confidence that our fact based argument is so overwhelming that the will of the majority will prevail.
We are also committed to taking back stolen ground. We encourage members of communities who have had their cherished Native traditions stripped away from them by school board members listening only to the voices of the powerful elites to organize and replace these school board members with those who will respect the representative will of their community stakeholders. This happened in 2019 in Killingly, Connecticut where the school board removed their decades long Redmen name and logo only to have the community vote in new school board members who brought it back.
Finally, we are committed to breaking new ground. We will actively seek out new schools, businesses, and other entities; encouraging them to use their public platform to promote a Native theme.
Educate not Eradicate.