Native American Mascot Discrimination Essay
Is it believable that Native American children face discrimination during their education because their schools have Native American mascots? - Native American Mascot Discrimination Essay introduction?? Yes. However, are Native American children the only children who face discrimination throughout their education? Do mascots lead to discrimination against other races of children? Do African American and Asian children face discrimination? Do timid children, “nerds” and other various stereotypes face discrimination? Are all of these students not being discriminated against as well?
A cultural mascot may lead to some discrimination against Native American children in school, but does it contribute to all discrimination against them? In Barbara E. Munson’s Common Themes and Questions About the Use of “Indian” Logos, Munson attributes all discrimination in school against Native American children as a consequence of the use of Indian logos and Native American mascots. Although it is conceivable that Native American children have faced discrimination throughout their education as a consequence of their school having a Native American mascot, Munson is unable to support her argument.
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Munson, despite her credibility to speak on the Native American culture, creates a biased argument filled with fallacies and lack of support; consequently, she overuses pathos to distract the reader from the faults of her argument. Barbara E. Munson is a woman of the Oneida Nation thus authorizing her to speak on Native American culture; however, her Native American status does not accredit her the right to state that all “Indian” logos are offensive and discriminatory to Native American children. Munson states,“Other schools are happy with their logos which offend no human being” (1).
Munson reveals her bias towards the Native American people as she fails to account for various mascots throughout the nation that could be considered discriminatory towards other races, religions and cultures. Such mascots include “The Devils” which could be offensive to Christian children and “The Dons” which could be offensive to children of Spanish heritage. Munson does not have the authority to say that non “Indian” mascots are not offensive because she has not spoken to children at schools that have different types of mascots.
Along with her personal bias, Munson also biases in her argument by supporting it with the positions of Native American organizations. Munson says, “ The National Council of American Indians, the Great Lakes Inter Tribal Council, the Oneida Tribe, and the Wisconsin Indian Education Association have all adopted formal position statements” on the use of Native American mascots, but these institutions are all biased towards the Native American population (3). Munson is unable to find people or other institutions not related to the Native American Population to help support her claims.
She only uses those already in favor of her argument, therefore creating a stronger bias. If Munson were able to provide statements from organizations not associated with the Native American population, she would be able to provide acceptable support for her argument. Munson’s bias and improper use of credibility are only minor imperfections within her argument, however another imperfection becomes visible as Munson continuously uses fallacies throughout her piece. One example of Munson’s fallacies is when she states that, “The average life expectancy of Native American males is age 45.
The teen suicide rate among Native people is several times higher than the national average… Racism kills” (3). Munson is using the hasty generalization fallacy: she draws inference from insufficient evidence about Native American mascots to conclude that these mascots lead to a lower male life expectancy and a higher teen suicide rate. Munson fails to recognize that heart disease and cancer account for more than thirty-eight percent of all deaths in American Indian men and that more young Native American die from unintended injury than suicide (LaVesit 231).
Munson concluded that the lower male life expectancy and high teen age suicide rate of Native Americans was attributed to discrimination in schools based off inconclusive evidence. This brash conclusion depicts one of the many flaws created by fallacies in Munson’s argument. Munson’s argument is made weaker as she makes claims that she fails to support with substantial evidence, resulting in the reader feeling unmoved. The claims throughout Munson’s argument in support of removing “Indian” logos are rarely supported with personal Native American experiences nor any kind of statistics.
An example of one of these claims is when Munson says, “Most Indian adults have lived through the pain of the prejudice and harassment in schools when they were growing up, and they don’t want their children to experience more of the same” (3). No matter how possible the truthfulness of Munson’s claim is, the claim is not supported by any sort of evidence. Munson does not mention a specific incidence in which a Native American adult was discriminated against in school.
She also fails to reveal any statistical evidence that supports her claim such as how many Naive American adults experienced prejudice and harassment in school and believe their children will share the same experience. Munson’s claim would be more effective if she had shared an experience from her own life or from another Native American who faced discrimination in school growing up. Without any specific experiences to be shared, Munson’s claims have no support and are not true evidence for her argument.
The reader does not make any emotional connection to Munson’s claims because there is no experience or personal story for them to make a connection with. Bias, lack of support, and fallacies are enough to break apart Munson’s argument, which is why she attempts to persuade the reader to agree with her by using emotion. At first, the reader feels sympathetic with the Native Americans as Munson, when referring to “Indian” logos and mascots, says, “Native people are saying that they don’t feel honored by this symbolism”(1).
She exclaims that people do not have an understanding of the Native American culture and therefore the Native American people are offended by Native American mascots. Munson’s statement appears sincere, but Munson soon causes the reader to turn against her when she tries to win over the reader by only using emotion. Munson exclaims, “When someone says you are hurting them by your action, if you persist; then harm becomes intentional” (2). Munson is now over using emotion by trying to make the reader feel condemned for an action that they most likely have not even committed.
Munson bravely claims that if one is not trying to stop the use of mascots, they are intentionally trying to harm the Native American people. This is an improper use of pathos. Instead of causing the reader to feel remorseful for the Native American people, or to feel condemned by an action, Munson is turning the reader away from her argument by the over use of pathos. This improper use of pathos does not lead to a sensitive realization from the reader, but makes the reader feel targeted and defensive after being accused of an action that they probably have not ommitted. Barbara E. Munson has the credibility to speak about Native American beliefs, traditions and values, but she is not in the position to make claims about the cause of low Native American male life expectancy, or high suicide rate in Native American teens. Munson may be able to offer credible Native American institutions in support of her argument, but she is unable to offer non Native American support in favor of her argument, therefore creating a large bias.
Fallacies further deplete Munson’s argument, and force her to overuse emotion in hopes of gaining support of the reader. If Munson would have used specific and personal Native American experiences with the use of Native American mascots, she could have been able to offer true emotion for the reader to relate to. Instead, Munson’s lack of support and overuse of emotion disables her argument and causes readers to not want to take action in support of her argument.