I read the article “‘Indians’ Name Draws Defenders, Opponents” (Dec. 7) in the newspaper recently and continue to find it incredulous that a group of people continue to base their sense of “pride” on a high school mascot, especially one that is deeply offensive to many.

A high school mascot is a representative symbol. The argument that the Skowhegan Indian is “their tradition, their identity and their way of respecting Native Americans by channeling their strength and bravery” is baseless when the flesh and blood representatives of Maine’s Wabanaki federation leave no doubts as to how they feel about it, and rightly so.

To take pride in your team, your heritage, and your community is noble, but to fly in the face of Native Americans, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the NAACP, and the ACLU — to name a few — is selfish and narrow minded. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then so is racism, and in today’s feverish world, we need more empathy and consideration of our fellow man than this.

I urge the members of Skowhegan Indian Pride to reflect on the validity of their arguments in the face of equal rights for Native Americans and do the right thing.

Robin Johnson

Waterville

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