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Monday, August 22, 2005

The Perpetuation of Racism - From the Left

The NCAA announced last week that it would consider allowing some universities to use Native American names as mascots, if the tribe whose name was being used was supportive. See NCAA Clarifies Ban on Mascots for the Washington Times report on this announcement.

When I read this report, the most interesting comment to me was the statement by Vernon Bellecourt, who is the president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, and a member of the Objiwe Nation in Minnesota. Bellecourt called Seminole Tribe council members, who support Florida State University's use of the Seminole name, "hang-around-the-fort Indians," a derisory title given to Indians seen as selling out to the white man. The term is a Native American equivalent of the African American "Uncle Tom."

Many will recall that in 2002, singer Harry Belafonte chastised Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as selling out their principles for the "privilege of living in the house if you served the master." Some will also recall that in 2004, Madison, Wisconsin radio host John Sylvester called Rice an "Aunt Jemima" and Powell an "Uncle Tom."

The left is constantly giving lip service to breaking down racial barriers, yet when a member of a minority group transcends the stereotypes associated with that group, that person is denounced by the left as one who has betrayed the principles of the group.

It seems to me that it is not the right, but the left, who is holding back minorities by perpetuating racial stereotypes.


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