Urgent: week of October 22

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Messages which absolutely need to be seen today due to time constraints or breaking news. Remember to check the"new answers" link for the most active topics. This topic will run for a week, and then we will start a new dated "urgent" file.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2000


Janet Nelson grabbed me at the middle school, and mentioned that Clinton saw Ras T with his sign and his head swiveled to watch him as the limo moved on.

Maybe this might be time to get a couple of those nice bound presentation folders with the clear plastic pockets, and make up a couple of spiffy personalized mascot presentations for Hillary and Bill. Front cover a montage of our Onteora Indian images with title, printed out slip for spine saying "Onteora Indian mascot controversy" first page a neat one-page letter outlining the situation, and the other pages history and supporting material downloaded from the web.

I don't think it would actually be to her advantage to have Hillary comment on it before the election, but maybe since Kevin Cahill seems to be on our side it could be mailed through his office and thus have a better chance of actually reaching them.

Still waiting for an ansswer on the Ada Moncure question I asked here last week toward the end of the page.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2000

Carol: I don't believe Ada Moncure ever ever contacted us...don't knopw if the quopte is accurate, but perhaps you'd like to drop her a note...letting her know she's welcomed by us...dennis may have her contact info... here's an article in which "we" are mentioned...won't make Onteora look too good, now will it??

By Samuel Autman STAFF WRITER

October 22, 2000

Aztec mascot

American Indian mascots are slowly vanishing from the American landscape, but not without some fireworks.

In Asheville, N.C., the Erwin High School Squaws became the Lady Warriors last year. Such a furor erupted that the U.S. Justice Department got involved.

Elsewhere, vandals slashed the tires of Indian mascot opponents attending a recent Onteora Board of Education meeting in New York state.

And last weekend American Indians caused an uproar at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana homecoming game when they burned a mannequin representing Chief Illiniwek, the Illini mascot.

Tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday, SDSU students will vote on the university's nickname, the Aztecs, and Monty Montezuma, the loincloth-clad mascot who runs onto the field during halftime at football games.

But the final decision on whether to rid the campus of all things Aztec rests with university President Stephen Weber.

The National Education Association and the U.S. Census Bureau discourage use of American Indian-themed mascots.

Indian groups estimate that hundreds of schools and colleges, including Stanford University and the Los Angeles Unified School District, have banished Indian mascots and nicknames.

But thousands remain.

Indian groups across the country say the images dishonor Indian cultures and are racist caricatures. Supporters say the mascots are traditional and pay respect to indigenous cultures.

"We have found that people are nearly hysterical regarding their mascot," said Linda Ishgooda, a Wyandot Indian of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sport and Media.

"You have the parents with tears running down their cheeks standing in front of microphones making statements such as, 'I was a Warrior-Aztec-Indian-Brave-Redskin and, by God, it's a tradition and my kid is going to be one.' "

When the SDSU student council voted to ask Weber to retire the Aztec nickname and mascot, the school and community erupted.

No matter what Weber decides, the issue could drag on for years.

At Champaign-Urbana, where a student dressed in full regalia as Chief Illiniwek performs during halftime, the issue has made headlines since 1975.

--- Copyright 2000 Union-Tribune Publishing Co

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000

here's another link in the chain worth looking at http://www.sosu.edu/slife/savages/index.htm

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000

hey gang. I have seen no commentary regarding the TOM rosato mtg. ANYTHING INTERESTING ? Carol.. as far as Ada Montare goes, here's my version. Hal and the previous board invited Ms. M and her Community Resource Services to )nteora not long after the first vote. She came , spoke with Hal, BBoyce, Meg, Joe Doan and myself.A slightly contentious but interesting occasion. She was prepared to approach our situation in a few different ways. One, a kind of fact finding/ student interview- seeking issues from students on both sides and working toward a recommendation to the community.Two, a community event that would be closely controlled to allow free expression of ideas in hopes of a resolution/compromise. She made it very clear that it would have been useful to have these services before the Board made a decision to allow a real compromise to occur.The local climate was heating up fast and hal did not follow up after original visit. In fact Bd. may have voted against her continued involvement. I bel;ieve our Mr. Rosato was the tie breaking vote on that one. Oh well.I'd like to skip the Hall of Shame . Can I be forgiven.?

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2000

Ouch! (OEF) I do hope the organization doesn't get called OAFS.

I had an interesting afternoon, I spend an hour talking with Zone Sergeant Cervini of the State Troopers.

I'd called earlier this week to find out where my file on my NY incident report (originally taken by Olive officer Wittl, who promised me copies would go to the State Police)was in the State Trooper pipeline. The barracks referred me to the Shokan satellite station, but when I got there, Trooper McKenna said it was not on the blotter. So I went down today armed with my original report, and also a printout and background piece on Barbara Clare's mentioning of removing the witches at Onteora.

Cervini says the fault is with Wittl, so I must hunt Wittl up and give him an earful. I think this shook up Cervini a bit, he kept reassuring me that the mix-up was not on his end. He also kept apologizing for saying you "guys" to me, and was trying to not offend by pointing out that I do look Woodstocky.

Some observations about Cervini. He says what he knows about the Indian mascot issue is what he reads in the paper (I assume Freeman, we didn't go into details). He kept repeating that things had hardened into no compromise situations. I took a great deal of time explaing that negotiations had been going on with Tanya until the Board closed the door by voting the mascot in , reminded him that in haggling for a rug in the bazaar or any other negotiation one starts with the polarized demands, and slowly works toward middle ground, and that we were just in the beginning steps of negotiation on this, aided by Tanya. I told him that yes, the Board meetings were more confrontational, but in private we were trying to get a dialogue going, just like he and I were having a dialogue right there, and that of course this doesn't make the papers.

He seems to be a man who does not see shades of grey very well, just black and white. A metaphor that he used was there was this notebook on the table between us, he wanted it and I wanted it and neither of us were going to give an inch. I said it wasn't as simple as this, that first we needed to talk about why he needed it and why I wanted it, and that there were other ways of approaching the situation.

I think the idea is really starting to jell that this is a real pattern of real events going on, and that it's happening to us. There's enough of a pattern going on. He's still at heart a mascot- hugger, kept giving the noble warrior bullshit. He even mentioned Rousseau's "noble savage" concept, didn't quite get the irony or the savage part. But I think he is a little more educable now than he was before, and I'll make up a packet of agit-prop to give to him.

I kept stressing the need to approach this as an educational issue rather than the political issue it became, mentioned that it will be down more to a simmer over the winter as we try to work to get Fred Perry replaced. When he stated that maybe the kids should vote on it, I reminded him why we don't let kids vote until they are out of high school, there are some things that need an adult's educated viewpoint and maturity.

Both he and Officer McKenna seemed quite annoyed that Millman spilled the beans about the undercover officer.

He says about the reward that however we want to work it is merely up to us, there's no particular protocol. He was saying that he may have come off a little lukewarm when Curry approached him about it originally, because there just hadn't been enough incidents to look like it was something that was warranted yet.

I had to bring up the Barbara Clare witch-removal thing,since I have to be cautious and take it seriously. I expressed it as maybe being just a response to Deborah Osherow's "witch-hunt phrase, but maybe also a Freudian slip referring to me. I put it in the context of being the second suspicious slip of the tongue, after Rose Ostrander saying "Screw your Indian" to Freddie Blue Fox this summer, when it hadn't been mentioned that there had been screws in tires.

To try to break the ice about being a witch, because I could see he didn't want to go there much, I mentioned that as far as I knew I was the only legal Wiccan clergy in northern Ulster, and that if he ever needed a more informed perspective on anything that looked occult- connected, I'd be happy to be a resource. I happened to mention something in passing about even little old Italian grannies who are good Catholics being known to do folk magick, and he said something about "yeah, we knew that if you opened the drawer and your grandmother had the scissors open a certain way..." which was an interesting shot in the dark.

So I think there is potential here, and feel more positive than before. He says he may be able to have a uniformed presence at some Board meetings, though "that's about all I will say on that" with a wink, implying he wasn't going to say himself if plainclothes cops would be there.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

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