School restores Redmen mascot; it’s not offensive to anyone, Republicans say


By Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, CNN

(CNN) — Less than a year after voting to remove the name of a school mascot that some found racist, the school board of a small Connecticut town has voted to reinstate it.

The Redmen, who became the Redhawks in the fall, will again be known as the Redmen after a 5-4 vote last week. The decision follows the election of a majority Republican school board in Killingly, Connecticut, a town of about 17,000 in northeast Connecticut. The board had previously been majority Democrat.

Republicans in a November election ran largely on the platform of bringing the Redmen mascot back to Killingly High School, board members said.

A school poll showed that most students wanted to keep the Redmen mascot, while most staff at Killingly wanted to replace it, board members and the school’s athletic director told CNN.

Some have said using the name Redmen as a mascot is without a doubt racist.

“We’re at a time where our ancestors’ pain and decimation are fantasized, rebranded and commercialized,” Angelina Casanova-Bell, national legislative affairs manager for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation located in southeastern Connecticut, told CNN.

“We don’t feel honored by it,” Casanova-Bell added. “It disregards our personhood. There’s this idea that Native Americans aren’t real, that we don’t exist, and we do.”

Reinstating the mascot comes at a time when professional sports teams are being criticized for using Native American imagery. Native American groups have been fighting to change the name of the Washington Redskins, Casanova-Bell said, and the Cleveland Indians dropped the Native American caricature Chief Wahoo from the Major League Baseball team’s uniforms in 2018.

Backing the reinstatement of the Redman name and logo was Raymond Wood II, a member of the Nipmuck tribe in Connecticut and Republican town councilman. He said he views the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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