Native American Logos


For this post, you will be exploring the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding First Amendment rights and the use of potentially offensive names (and images, including logos). The case was brought by Simon Tam, an Asian-American guitar player and lead singer for the rock band The Slants, who were denied a patent (and thereby a potential record deal) on the grounds that their band’s name was a racial slur. The court’s ruling has bearing on the use of Native American mascots, such as that of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, whose trademark was canceled in 2014 by the U.S. Patent Office on similar grounds. Here is a link to a brief interview with Simon Tam regarding The Slants: The Slants: Fighting for the Right to Rock a Racial Slur (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  (Links to an external site.) And to one about the Patent Office’s ruling over the Redskins trademark (with a video showing 77 years of the Redskins’ branding using Native American caricatures): U.S. Patent Office Cancels Redskins Trademark (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  (Links to an external site.) And, lastly, a link to a news story regarding the efforts on the part of some Oregon schools to maintain their mascots through reaching agreements with local tribes to include their history in the school curriculum, as well as to have a Native American advisor on their local school board. The state of Oregon passed a law in 2016 mandating that schools do so by the end of June, 2017 or lose their mascots. Oregon School Districts Work to Keep Native American Mascots (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  (Links to an external site.) For this post, read all of the resources posted above, then choose a Native American sports mascot and do some research online regarding the history of the mascot and any controversies over its continued use. Given what you learned through your research, as well as what you’ve read in Chapter 6 about the position of many Native Americans regarding the continued use of their cultural identities in this manner, DEBATE this issue in your post. What are the arguments against the use of such images? The arguments for doing so? Do you think these types of images stereotype Native Americans in unfavorable ways? Or, as some justices wrote in their opinions on the case, do you regard these images as part of the cultural milieu of images, logos and brands that we see everyday, that would be impossible to regulate as a whole? If you are in favor of keeping these mascots, do you think the Native American groups involved should be compensated for the commodification of their identity? Explain. Remember, to DEBATE means to try to come to a decision about something based on weighing the evidence. NOTE: TO RECEIVE FULL POINTS, YOUR POST MUST INCLUDE AN EMBEDDED IMAGE OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN LOGO IT IS ADDRESSING. Others cannot respond to your arguments for or against use of the mascot if they cannot see what it looks like.  For the REPLY: Respond to the post of someone who has a different opinion than yourself about this issue. Be sure to reference evidence in support of your side of the debate.

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