Racial Justice

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Petition to Rutland High School in Rutland City in Vermont USA, Vermont Dept of Education, Rutland Herald, Sam's Good News, Channel 3 news Vermont, New England Indigenous Tribes, Rutland CIty Alderman, Interfaith Coalition, Governor Phil Scott, Mayor David Allaire

keep NON-native mascot 4 Rutland High School & INCLUDE INDIGENOUS HISTORY in curriculum

Despite the Rutland High School board voting 6 to 1 in favor of changing the school mascot from an indigenous related origin and offensive one to Indigenous students and citizens, the group which is supporting keeping the old mascot name and symbol is continuing to rally support in order to reverse this decision by the school board. This petition is to support keeping that decision to change the mascot name/logo and to include indigenous history and culture in the Local Rutland Hich School curriculum.  Here is the link to the previous petition. Please read the posts from it and the description to understand the background. More information will be added to this present petition later. PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION TO CONTINUE SUPPORT OF THE CHANGE IN THE MASCOT AND LOGO, AND TO SUPPORT INCLUDING INDIGENOUS HISTORY AND CULTURE IN THE RUTLAND HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM.  The original mascot, " The Red Raiders" was chosen after a  film was circulated the early 1900s, a film that depicted Native Americans as vicious savages who scalped and killed others. This mascot Red Raiders used the image of an Indian Chief wearing the warrior headdress. In the Rutland Herald article titled "Cassarino: Rutland 'Red Raiders' origins', it states,(quote) "What became apparent in reviewing archival material is local sportswriters used racist stereotypes of Indigenous people, especially the image of the “Noble Savage,” to make their articles more interesting to read for their audience. Most people’s understanding of Indigenous people was based on stereotypes and Hollywood movies. Right before local writers began to refer to Rutland as the “Red Raiders,” the film “The Red Raiders” (1927) was released and was screened in several local theaters. The act of scalping was featured in many of these articles. This Native American stereotype reinforces the racist belief that Indigenous people are inherently savage. However, history reveals this practice existed in societies across the world and it was a far more common practice among white colonizers who were offered bounties for Indigenous scalps.In fact, the derogatory term “red skin” originated because of these violent bounties. Most members of northeastern tribes did not value the practice of scalping. The usage of the term scalping in these articles is not based on local history but pulled from established and harmful stereotypes associated with all Indigenous people.The use of “scalping” to sensationalize sports articles was pervasive. In a Dec. 31, 1934, article, a local sportswriter wrote, “Rutland, the surprise basketball team of southern Vermont, seeks to add another scalp to its mounting strings of victories when Windsor High School invades this city tonight.”Another article from the Rutland Daily Herald published on Jan. 11, 1937, reads, “Though they were nearly sprawled in a hectic fourth quarter at Springfield, the Rutland Red Raiders, with seven scalps on dangling from their belts, rate about tops in southern hoop circles.” (Unquote) The mascot name was changed in recent years to The Raiders, with the use of crudely made Indian arrows for the image. In October 2020, the school board voted 6 to 1 in favor of changing it yet again, to allow the students to create their own name and logo/image, which would be less offensive to Indigenous Americans. Even after this vote, there are people in the area, and some alumni, who are still fighting to change it back to the Red Raiders or the Raiders. We need to keep this recent change in effect to keep the forward movement into an era of increased recognition and respect for the indigenous peoples of our past and present. PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! THANK YOU!  The school board already voted to change the mascot. How 'Indian' Mascots Oppress  

Emily Wood
484 supporters