February 19, 2007

YEAGLEY: THE INDIAN APPLE MASCOT

From the Bad Eagle Foundation

It seems David Yeagley's quite unsophisticated claims to support racist mascots — in the name of preserving American Indian “manhood” — are evidenced by numerous pontifications and prosyeltising efforts in schools liberal enough to let him proselytize. But Yeagley is severely out-of-touch with Indian people on-the-ground, away from his web searching ‘n book learnin’. If Yeagley is Indian at all, he is an Apple, and apple pie-in-the-sky piano player turned white dominionist.

Yes, white dominionist, that brand of Christianity that trumpets up masculinity, the fatherland, and glorification of all things war, at the expensive of anything else. Yeagley’s no Indian, he’s a dominionist pundit. Just read these particular perspectives on the “mascot” issue, and it is easy to see little David for what he really is — a sloppy thinker and a second-rate white dominionist. Read on!


From a faux-Indian declamation that Yeagley delivered:

The Pioneer — “Yeagley told a University Union audience that members of America’s left wing are usually behind the casinos, reaping the majority of the benefits. In his talk, ‘How the Left Stole the Indian Image,’ he maintained that while some American Indians had profited from casinos, there wasn’t a single instance in which an entire tribe or specific group had benefited.

Another topic he touched on was the use of American Indian images and names as mascots for schools and professional sports teams.
Yeagley said he didn’t know of any group of American Indians offended by the use of Indian images as mascots. He said that generally speaking, American Indians didn’t care. When then asked why there were lawsuits claiming that American Indians were offended by Indian mascots, Yeagley said he saw dollar signs in the litigation” (Tiffany High, Dec. 4, 2003). Read more here: http://pioneer.csueastbay.edu/PioneerWeb/PioneerNews12-4-03/PioneerNews12-4-03-Page3.pdf

From a faux-Indian speechification that Yeagley delivered:
Collegian Online — “During the question-and-answer session, Chester Asher (senior-political science) pointed out a discrepancy he found in Yeagley's lecture. Asher said Yeagley said schools might be paid money to remove ‘offensive’ mascots, but he was ignoring the fact that marketing divisions of athletic teams ‘dehumanize’ the Native American image to make money. ‘I think we need more accurate, much more accurate, depictions,’ Asher said. ‘It's an abuse of a culture.’

Yeagley responded saying he does not see athletic mascots as abusing the Native American image. Asher closed his comments with harsh criticism for Yeagley. ‘I think you're foolishly idealistic,’ Asher said before walking away. Keri-Ann Tavares (senior-history) said more than just the warrior aspect of the Native American lifestyle needs to be represented in American culture.

Yeagley responded by saying the warrior aspect is needed to motivate the teams. ‘They choose a mascot to activate the psychology,’ he said. Tavares then responded, saying the concept that team names inspire heroic characteristics, like aggressiveness, in a team has no base. ‘Look at the Washington Redskins--they're a horrible football team,’ Tavares said” (Collegian Online, Dec. 6 2002). Read more here: http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2002/12/12-06-02tdc/12-06-02dnews-10.asp

Here’s the Real-Deal from an illustrious American Indian journalist:
Tim Giago — “The news is out that the University of Illinois will drop its Chief Illiniwek mascot. It just goes to show that not all 'traditions' are honorable... This time-honored tradition faced its first objection when a young lady of Spokane Indian heritage, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, named Charlene Teters, stood alone and fearful at a football game in Champaign holding a small sign that read, 'We are human beings and not mascots.' ... Some spat on her as they walked past and others flipped burning cigarettes at her... To stand alone in the face of such fury and anger from a supposed educated segment of America's white society took courage and determination ... Her fear was mostly for that of her children and not herself.

But tell me this; why should any person fear for their very lives for protesting the use of Indians as mascots for America's fun and games? ... I joined the protest one year as a newspaper reporter. I walked near the protestors taking pictures as they marched. I was once again overwhelmed by the degree of hatred aimed at these protestors. Profanity such as 'F- you squaws' or 'Get the hell out of here you drunken Indians,' rained down on the protestors on their march to the stadium. My God, what a proud tradition! How can a people exude such hatred for real Indians while honoring a phony chief?” (TG, Feb. 19, 2007) Read more here: http://www.indianz.com/News/2007/000962.asp

Here’s the Real-Deal from an authentic Comanche scholar and educator:
Dr. Cornel Pewewardy — “Accordingly, teachers should not ignore the issues of Indian mascots in schools... Teachers should research the matter and discover that Native Americans would never have associated the sacred practices of becoming a warrior with the hoopla of a high school pep rally, half-time entertainment, being a sidekick to cheerleaders, or royalty in homecoming pageants.

Most of these types of activities carry racial overtones of playing Indian in school events... Indian mascots exhibit either idealized or comical facial features and 'native' dress, ranging from body-length feathered (usually turkey) headdresses to more subtle fake buckskin attire or skimpy loincloths. Some teams and supporters display counterfeit Indian paraphernalia... Most of these proverbial stereotypes are manufactured racist images that prevent millions of students from understanding the past and current authentic human experience of Native Americans.


Who should decide what is demeaning and racist? Clearly, the affected party determines what is offensive. It is not for unaffected members of society to dictate how the affected party should feel. Moreover, these name changes shouldn't have to go through ugly alumni and student backlashes that smear grassroots complainants as troublemakers, gadflies, activist, militant, or being “politically correct.” ... the misconceptions and stereotypes about Native people which bombard the child from outside of the classroom need to be counteracted... Indian mascots are one cause for low self-esteem in Indian children...

Professional organizations that have passed resolutions in support of eliminating negative Indian mascots used in schools include the National Indian Education Association, Kansas Association for Native American Education, United Indian Nations of Oklahoma, Governor's Interstate Indian Council, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, National Congress of American Indians, NAACP, and NCAA. Basically, this represents the critical mass of Indian educational associations and tribal governments have either passed resolution or gone on record wanting to eliminate Indian mascots and logos from school-related activities and events” (Dr. CP, Oct. 7, 2000). Read more here: http://www.turtletrack.org/Issues00/Co10072000/CO_10072000_Honor.htm

2 comments:

Stephanie B. said...

David the hater Yeagley could care less about the feeling of fellow American Indians who are rightfully offended by dehumanizing Indian mascots day in and day out and who endured hate during their protests at college campuses around the country. American Indians have a right to stand up for their rights and their tribal cultures as well as to protect them from senseless appropriation from non-Indians.

To hear such hate from non-Indians, and sad to say, soldout American Indians is disgusting.

These are things David refuses to understand much less have compassion for his fellow oppressed American Indians if he cares, which I doubt he ever does.

Stephanie B.

Rob said...

Re "there wasn’t a single instance in which an entire tribe or specific group had benefited": In some gaming tribes, you'd be hard-pressed to find an Indian who hasn't benefited. Examples: Mashantucket Pequots, Mohegans, the Seminoles of Florida, San Manuel, Pechanga, Agua Caliente, Chumash. Let's see Yeagley the apple disprove the success of these seven tribes and then I'll give him seven more.