My responses to the prompt on the Argument is Everywhere playlist:
When looking at this picture, the first judgments I make are that this is a person whose culture has been appropriated in an offensive way. This person is Native American, and their culture has been turned into a mascot. I think that making anyone’s culture into a mascot is extremely offensive. Mascots are often animals, and by turning cultures into mascots, we are basically saying that they are something to entertain us and they are different than the rest of us.
My position is that we should not create any mascots that are based off of cultures. Mascots are usually objects or animals, and no one should be objectified. I have evidence that supports this position because I have heard stories from people whose cultures have been turned into mascots or costumes, and they are not okay with it. They feel their sacred and personal culture being striped away and made into a joke or a form of entertainment. Parts of their culture that are worn or done have deep meaning that must be earned or accomplished, and when others wear or do these things just for fun it is highly offensive to what meaning it is meant to contain.
I see an argument coming up very quickly about whether it is disrespectful or an honor to have your culture represented. Many people who have not had their culture appropriated feel like it would be an honor for others to represent their culture. While it is fair for everyone to have their own opinions, I don’t think it should be up to those who are appropriating the culture to decide if it is disrespectful or not. If anyone feels disrespected or is not happy with a way their own culture is being depicted through representation or cultural appropriation, they get to decide that it is not okay, and it is our job to listen to them. Many people who are part of majorities do not know what it feels like to have their own special culture disrespected, so it is not in their place to decide how the situation should be handled.
Argument is Everywhere- Mascots by Lindsay is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.