Proposed Resolution of the American Sociological Association on Native American Sport MascotsAs with all member resolutions, signatures from 3% of members are needed to place it on the ballot. Apparently if you copy the above text and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (presumably along with your name) that is sufficient to count as a signature.
WHEREAS the American Sociological Association comprises sociologists and kindred professionals who study, among other things, culture, religion, media, sport, race and ethnicity, racism, and other forms of inequality;
WHEREAS the American Sociological Association recognizes that racial prejudice, stereotypes, individual discrimination and institutional discrimination are socially created phenomena that are harmful to Native Americans and other people of color;
WHEREAS the American Sociological Association is resolved to undertake scholarship, education, and action that helps to eradicate racism;
WHEREAS social science scholarship has demonstrated that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport reflect and reinforce misleading stereotypes of Native Americans in both past and contemporary times;
WHEREAS the stereotypes embedded in Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport undermine education about the lives of Native American peoples;
WHEREAS social science scholarship has demonstrated that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport harm Native American people in psychological, educational, and social ways;
WHEREAS the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport shows disrespect for Native American spiritual and cultural practices;
WHEREAS many Native American individuals across the United States have found Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport offensive and called for their elimination;
AND, WHEREAS the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport has been condemned by numerous reputable academic, educational and civil rights organizations, and the vast majority of Native American advocacy organizations, including but not limited to: American Anthropological Association, American Psychological Association, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Modern Language Association, United States Commission on Civil Rights, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Association of American Indian Affairs, National Congress of American Indians, and National Indian Education Association;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION calls for the discontinuation of the use of Native American nicknames, logos and mascots in sport.
The drive is being organized by Jeffrey Montez de Oca and Laurel Davis-Delano. I have sent an e-mail asking about the evidence regarding WHEREAS #6 of the resolution (the one about evidence demonstrating harm). I'm not saying anything about the quantity or quality of this evidence; I honestly don't know. It seems to me that there should be a requirement that resolutions that make claims about social science findings should be expected to provide references to those findings and preferably with the resolution itself. I'll let you know what response I receive to my query.
The resolution does not itself imply any actions other than ASA "calling for the discontinuation." I have a friend who works for ASA; I wonder if he'll have to be the one who gets on the phone and makes these calls. But to whom? By contrast, the American Anthropological Association has a at-least-ten-year boycott on holding meetings in Illinois (e.g., in Chicago) because of the University of Illinois flamboyantly offensive "Chief Illiniwek" mascot.