Racist Mascot in Fulllerton must be REMOVED!
Corine Fairbanks sent a message to the members of American Indian Movement Santa Barbara.
This coalition fought against Fullerton High School's "Indians" and Sonora High's "Zapata Raiders" mascots that are racist and must be removed. Please send letters to: Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board 1051 W. Bastanchury Road, Fullerton CA 92833
----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: FIGHTING TERRORISM SINCE 1492 (20348641)
Date: 12/7/2009 2:41:43 PM
Subject: Stop racist school Mascots .
At Tuesday evenings Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board meeting twenty of the thirty people gathered in support of changing derogatory mascots, spoke eloquently on why the District should remove the “Indian” and “Zapata’s Raiders” mascots from Fullerton and Sonora High Schools. One current Fullerton High student offered Principal Gach drawings of various alternative animal mascots that he had created. Other Alumni from as far back as 1947 stated reasons that the mascot should be changed including:
•”This is a subtle form of racism - not worth agonizing over. Make the decision to change it. When I was in school it was common to hear jokes about drunken Indians, japs, slit-eyes, fairys and other derogatory names. Things have changed now and we would not accept such behavior. Words and images do make a difference. Civility and respect are important in the community. Why aren’t you doing your job to promote diversity?”
•”The mascot is not honoring Native Americans.....When I attended FUHS, Willy Ug was the mascot - an ugly caricature that ridiculed Indian tradition. There was no respect there.” Other comments included:
• “Speaking of tradition, what Native American tradition was the school founded on? Why not use a mascot from your own tradition? Why use one from a culture you don’t understand?”
• “Please understand our point of view. We are the original citizens of this land - 95% of our ancestors were killed after Columbus “discovered” our country.” • “Zapata was a freedom fighter, if you are going to keep the name “Raider” choose Columbus to go with it, he was a raider.. My generation is sick of racism. It must end now.”
• “Do not reduce our heritage to a mascot - Start teaching the real history of how our rights were taken away.”
• “There is no diversity on this school board, you are all white. We know what the racism of the mascot does. You don’t see it because your children don’t come home feeling bad. You have the opportunity to change it.”
• “Superficial changes have been made - but stereotyping has continued - more must be done.” Each of the twenty commenters were given 2 minutes to speak and despite the restriction each was able to make a potent point. After the last speaker sat down, it was disappointing to listen as each boardmember made a statement.
•Buchi said that the board was beholden to their constituents and they had a large number of letters and petitions asking that the mascot be kept. Oddly not one person favoring the retention of the mascots chose to attend the public meeting. Buchi said that the board had asked those wishing to keep the mascot to not attend the meeting to avoid confrontation.
(To a request made by the Observer to see the letters and petitions the District answered that they were putting the file in order and they would be ready to view on Monday.)
• Hathaway said that eventually the process will work at the campus level but not as a directive from the board.
• Kilponen agreed that the governing board would not dictate to any campus.
• Dunton tried to make the point that in this melting pot of a nation no one should care about mascots. Mascots are supposed to bring spirits up by being silly like “Little Brown Jug, Bulldogs, Iowa Pigs.”
• Singer acknowledged that there were new points brought up by the speakers and genuine issues that needed careful consideration involving all stakeholders.
“We need to see what we are teaching our children,” he said.
If you would like to make a comment send letters to: Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board 1051 W. Bastanchury Road, Fullerton CA 92833