So Tuesday is the big To Natick Redmen or Not to Natick Redmen? vote. In an editorial today, the Metrowest Daily News endorses a “no” vote on question #3, a nonbinding referendum which asks the Natick selectmen to reconsider the school committee’s decision to put an end to the controversial mascot.
Here’s a little history:
Back in the 1950s, Natick High’s teams, then known as the Red and Blue, were tagged the Redmen, in part as a tribute to the qualities of honor and courage attributed to American Indians. A mascot soon followed, along with likenesses of Plains Indians in full headdress.
But some people find nicknames based on skin color offensive, however well-intentioned. Last year, after local Indians and their supporters raised objections, the School Committee voted to drop Redmen and look for a new nickname. That prompted loud objections from some tradition-minded Natick High alumni, students and friends. They petitioned selectmen to put a non-binding question on the March 25 town election ballot asking the School Committee to reconsider its decision.
The MWDN’s position:
Natick’s history began 357 years ago, not 50 years ago. One way to honor the history made by Natick’s founders is to respect the call, made by some of the descendants of the Praying Indians, to give Natick’s football team a nickname that nobody will consider a term of disrespect. Voters should let the School Committee’s decision stand.
Read the whole editorial.
Related post: What’s In a Name?