Native American Mascot Discrimination

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Is it believable that Native American children face discrimination during their education because their schools have Native American mascots? 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. 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...
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