Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Circle The Wagon

How many of you thought the days of battling Indians were in the past? I mean, for along time now we have been living in peace with Native-Americans, finally honoring them for being the first caretakers of the United States of America, and moving a long way from the old days when the white man and the Indian were fighting.

Apparently some Native-Americans aren’t willing to move forward and insist on living in the past and dredging up old issues.

The recent attack by the Indians has come in the form of being offended because some sports teams are named for Native-American tribes, or slang terms. Does this strike anyone else as being petty?

I was listening to a talk radio show the other day where a lady that was a guest was trying to explain how all Native-Americans are offended by these sports team names. She explained it was because of these stereotypes that the Native-American youngsters were having some sort of identity crisis.

It’s strange how the names of a sports team can throw the Native-American community into dire straights. It’s sort of along the lines of African-Americans complaining that all of the years of slavery have ruined them for life and so all of their problems stem from the historical treatment of their race.

This is all crap. If the name of sports teams are detrimental, then why aren’t white kids offended by the 49’ers, Cowboys, Steelers, Oilers, etc…? Many teams have chosen the names they have to represent honor, pride, spirit, strength, and courage. I would think that just the opposite of their complaint would be true. They should feel honored to have teams named after their heritage, not the other way around.

Removing Native-American names from our sports teams would be one step closer to removing their heritage from our lives forever. Why do this? Is this really what they want?

Native-Americans are a race of people who still teach their native customs, and seem to enjoy showing their customs to others and sharing their heritage. So why would they be embarrassed to have their strength acknowledged in the form of a team name?

Many of us Americans can trace our roots back to a Native-American bloodline. I personally am descended from the Apache line. You know what, instead of whining that the names of sports teams are holding me back, I joined the Air Force, got a Bachelor’s degree, retired from the Air Force, and now I am working on another career.

All Americans, even Native-Americans, are not limited to what the view from others may be. Our lives are what we choose to make them to be, and no amount of external influence can change us unless we allow it to.

Those of you living in the past need to get over it and stop trying to pin your troubles on some other source. Our sports teams have long traditions as well, and you know what, they need to remain in tact. The Indians, Braves, Redskins and yes, even the Seminoles are great teams with proud traditions of their own, and for someone to try and take this from them because of some ancient historical inferiority complex is ridiculous.

Here’s an idea, if you’re such a proud people who become offended easily from the name of a sports team, maybe you ought to stop building drinking and gambling establishments. Have you ever thought that these could be what are causing your young people to lose their pride and identity, and not the name of a football team?

Leave the team names alone, and for the teams who are planning on bowing to the pressure and changing the name of your team, you might as well just pick a name like the cowards, chickens, or sell-outs, because you no longer deserve to have the name that symbolizes strength.

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