Michigan Civil Rights Commission to File Discrmination Complaint with U.S. Dept. of Education over Indian Sports Names and Mascots

From the MCRC:

Later this morning, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights will file a complaint with the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on behalf of all present and future students who are, are descended from, or otherwise self-identify as American Indians.  This complaint asks OCR to order an end to the use of American Indian mascots, names, terms, graphics and/or other imagery as a violation of equal protection for primary and secondary students.

Here are the materials:





MDCR 2-8-13 Discrimination Complaint
MDCR 2-8-13 Supporting Argument
MDCR 2-8-13 Appendix A – References
MDCR 2-8-13 Appendix B – Schools

6 thoughts on “Michigan Civil Rights Commission to File Discrmination Complaint with U.S. Dept. of Education over Indian Sports Names and Mascots

  1. conce rndcitizen February 11, 2013 / 9:30 am

    Being part Native American, I don’t see what all the fuss is for a school to call themselves the “Warriors”. As far as I know, that term can be used for pretty much any type of people and is not specifically tagged for Native American use only. In addition, if the imagery is offensive, why not ask them to remove it instead of blowing this all up in court. It seems to me that in the interest of being politically correct, most school districts would.

  2. Matthew L.M. Fletcher February 11, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    Ok “part Native American.” Read the docs before getting it all wrong. It’s not in court and its not about whether anything is offensive.

  3. ERodriguez March 12, 2013 / 10:01 am

    Dear Conce rndcitizen,

    I believe that the initial approach has been to request removal of cartoonish imagery or terminology and attempt to educate the public and school boards about such mascot issues. The mascot issue is not a new issue, there are documentaries, studies, community speaking events etc. This issue has been approached from many different angles. Unfortunately, for some reason that eludes me, many people’s identities become intertwined with mascots. How or why someone would vehemently self identify with a cartoon character or figment of some marketing departments imagination is beyond me.

    …with that said, Go Spartans!

  4. Barb Munson November 13, 2014 / 11:31 pm

    Race-based ‘Indian” team name branding harms all our children. There is a large body of psychological research attesting to the harm caused by stereotype threat based on the works of claude Steele. In 2002 a body of research focused on the impact of race-based Indian mascot stereotypes began to emerge in the work of Dr. Stephanie Fryberg. This body of research is ever expanding and clearly shows that this form of stereotyping harms children. It is not about being “offensive,” race-based stereotypes harm native children, create a greater tendency for stereotyping other minority groups and teach all our chlldren to tolerate racial stereotyping. “indian” mascot, logo team name branding is an engine fueling racism in our society.

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