Native American imagery use for sports has all along been a controversial topic
for years now. The Washington Redskins which is the United States’ sports team
capital have had lots of pressure to not only to change their name but mascot
as well, an aspect that Dan Snyder, the team’s owner denotes will never happen.
Since the Native American imagery for a sports team has been dishonoring them,
Amy Stretten argues that it is entirely offensive by establishing credibility,
using her own personal stories as well as stories of other’s, a charged writing
style, and logical facts.
the very beginning of the article, Stretten establishes that she is a member of
the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia. This is why as a Native American she speaks
about her own experiences. This indeed helps her argument since she is not only
giving facts to the reader but she is researching as well as applying these
sets of statistics to her life. This article would have been entirely different
if it were written by someone of another race. It establishes the author’s
credibility, which is important. She declares this in the beginning of the
article, the reader has a sense that the author knows what he is talking about,
and the reader believes in what the author is depicting, portraying the
effectiveness of the article.
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Amy Stretten while attending a high school where Native American imagery was
used by the mascot, she manages to write her personal story. Fellow classmates
would often approach her to say and I quote, “You should feel proud! We’re
honoring your people!” (522). This best reveals the claim of a lot of
supporters to excuse the way Native Americans are represented in sports, and
Stretten effectively demonstrates how she did not feel comfortable in this
instance, by using words such as “shouting” and “hollered” to express the way
in which her classmates spoke to her (522). On one particular occasion,
Stretten decided to meet with some of the school faculty to express her
concern. The way that Stretten tells this experience causes the reader to react
emotionally; by expressing the isolation and outnumbering that she felt in this
moment. The author is not necessarily asking the reader to feel sorry for her,
but to realize that Native American community members have actively been airing
their grievances but they have been continuously ignored.
one occasion Ian Campeau who filed a complaint against “The Redskins”
football club at Ontario Human Rights Tribunal was quoted by Amy Stretten. The
club as it has been indicated in the article is based in Ottawa, the capital
city of Canada. Partly, she quotes, “The players call each other ‘redskins’ on
the field using the n-word”(524). This quote is effective, especially when
doing a comparison between the two groups, forcing us as readers to realize how
offensive the term “redskin” is to the Native American community.
Just about everyone knows that the ‘n-word’ is offensive to the black
community, but not everyone is aware of how insulting the word ‘redskins’ is to
the Native American community, and there are sports teams that go by that name!
Through the use of a personal story that is not her own, Stretten shows the
reader that this is not just a problem in her own life, but lives all around
the world, thus making the article more persuasive.
It is not just the personal stories that
impact the reader to react emotionally, but the author expresses her own
emotions anger, sadness, among others throughout her writing as well. This is
why she is illustrating the irony behind celebrating the Native people with
imagery war honor, something that according to her can never happen. It is
because the Native Community has been cultural exploited for profit (523).
Through the tone of the author in the writing, the reader can sense that the
author is not writing this article in a neutral point of view. It reveals that
she is angry and feels passionate about what she is writing. She is also
saddened by the fact that they speak broken English, does not mean they deserve
what they are going through. This makes the reader realize how sports teams
depict Native Americans in a degrading and stereotypical way.
Apart from using emotional appeals, the
article’s argument is effective because the author uses credible sources, such
as The American Psychology Association and Ian Campeau. She uses these sources
to back up her facts so that the reader trusts her claims further. As far as
the well-known sources she uses, Stretten includes a quote from Ian Campeau.
Because Stretten realizes that not everybody knows who Campeau is, she informs
the readers of his connection to the issue before giving his quote, saying that
he is an Ojibway father and a human rights activist. This prepares the reader
to take what he has to say very seriously (524). In this regard, it is a fact
that this article is strongly condemning racial stereotyping, cultural
appropriation and inaccurate racial portrayals that by all means do not honor
breathing people and the living at large.