Indian Mascots & Death Threats to a 15 yr. old

The FBI told us that American Indians are still the most assaulted in hate crimes, and I had thought there that “some or many will not admit that violence against Native Americans is made more probable because of the institutionalized racism that is American Indian sports teams mascots, even if it is true – and it probably is.”

Well, it is. Death threats against a 15 year old have spawned, because a coward published a 15 year old American Indian’s name in a newspaper.

A local businessman placed a quarter-page ad in the local newspaper explicitly naming and targeting Eli Cordero, the young student who originally brought the issue to the school board.

Crossposted At Native American Netroots

The brave young man spoke out, his relatives supported him, and they got the school to do away with the institutionalized racism that is American Indian mascots at their school.

Since that time, the 15 year old has received death threats and his family has been harassed. Death threats were also made against the child of a school board member who voted to remove the imagery. Local police began escorting school board members to and from school board meetings. Some citizens of Carpinteria shouted racial epithets at John Orendorff, a Native American Army Reserve colonel who spoke at a school board meeting in favor of removing the racist imagery.

These ignorant and potentially violent individuals had a poll that asked “SHOULD THE TRUSTEES WHO VOTED IN FAVOR OF REMOVING OUR MASCOT BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE?” One can’t vote no, “it’s closed.”

An organization called “Recall CUSD – Warrior Spirit Never Dies” (, has waged a largely successful campaign to discredit and oust the school board members who supported the anti-mascot measure. Having successfully installed pro-mascot sympathizers on the school board, there is now a petition to rescind the earlier decision and keep the racist imagery at the public high school. On January 27th, local Native American people organized a protest to voice their objection to the measure, and were met with verbal abuse by drivers and passers-by. One protestor was hit with a rock thrown by an adult man shouting obscenities. This occurred despite the presence of a representative of the federal justice department, who was sent from Los Angeles to ensure proper police conduct and the safety of the demonstrators. Many local Native Americans, while supporting the anti-mascot effort, refused to join the protest, fearing violent reprisals by the townspeople.

I get it, better keep quiet about this if you’re an American Indian, or you support the efforts of American Indians to end the institutionalized racism that is American Indian mascots.


Otherwise, they’ll publish children’s names in papers, scream hate speech, and deal out death threats.


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  2. …in high school in Colorado in the early 1960s, we were called the Arvada Redskins. I was one of two people with acknowledged Indian blood in the school of 1500. It did no good in those days to protest.

    It took until the 1990s before Arvada changed the name to the Arvada Reds. And the complaints of many people objecting to this was enlightening. And disturbing.

    Good Diary. And on the Rec List at Daily Kos with 400+ comments. !!!!!!

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