California lawmakers proposed a law that will ban the use of “Redskins” as a school team name or mascot in public schools.
The Golden State legislature tried two previous times to pass a similar bill, but were unsuccessful. If proponents of the bill triumph this time around and Gov. Jerry Brown signs it into law, California will be the first state in the nation to prohibit the controversial name.
“It’s time that we as a state take a stand against racial slurs used in our public schools,” Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, sponsor of Assembly Bill 30, the California Racial Mascots Act.
EdSource.com reported that for more than fifty years Native Americans have fought to remove “Redskins” as a logo because they consider it a racial slur. A peer-reviewed paper by researchers at the University of Arizona, Stanford University and the University of Michigan purports that young Native American exposed to names like “Redskins” and other stereotypical imagery makes them pessimistic about their future academic achievements.
Breitbart News reported in August, that Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, through his organization Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, discovered that many Native Americans are actually big fans of the Redskins. Moreover, there is a tremendous amount of support for other teams that have Native American names—the Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chicago Blackhawks. The names frequently hold a special place of pride for them, Snyder contends.
Snyder stated then that, “reality is, no one ever talks about what’s going on the reservations, the fact that they have such high unemployment rates, health care issues, education issues, environmental issues, lack of water, lack of electricity.”
EdSource.com notes that just four California public schools use “Redskins” as a team name and mascot: Calaveras High School in Calaveras County, Chowchilla Union High School in Madera County, Gustine High School in Merced County and Tulare Union High School in Tulare County.