by RUBY CHAVEZ
Governor, Jerry Brown, signs the California Racial Mascots Act, banning the name “Redskins” for schools in the state of California. It has been brought to Brown’s attention that it is a racial name and can be offensive to some people.
Tulare Union, Chowchilla Union High, Gustine High, and Calaveras High will have to change the mascot’s name completely. The schools are given until January of 2017 to make the change. While these schools make the change, Colusa High and Mountain Empire High changed to the Redhawks.
In the meantime, Tulare Union is battling to keep their name because they have had it since 1924. The Tule River Tribal Council wrote a letter in support of Tulare Union to keep their mascot name. The school district forwarded the letter to the governor’s office to campaign for the retention of the mascot’s name. Sarah Koligian, Tulare schools superintendent, discusses in the Fresno Bee how “Changes to school facilities and uniforms could range anywhere from $700,000 to $1 million in expenses that are currently not in the district’s budgets” which is true. If the Governor makes that decision, he should at least give money to the schools to make that change. The Athletic Director at Tulare Union, asked all coaches to not purchase any uniforms with “Redskins” on it in case racial mascots become a part of the law.
Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata, run the group Change of Mascot, thought to use the California Racial Mascots act to pressure the NFL team, Washington Redskins, change their name as well. Also, they asserted “ this landmark legislation eliminating the R-word in California schools clearly demonstrates that this issue is not going away, and that opposition to the Washington team on this issue is only intensifying. The NFL should act immediately to press the team to change the name,” according to The Los Angeles Times. Some people look at the mascot as pride, not racism.