Debate over name shows we have a long way to go
The Lancaster School District’s use of the name Redskins seems a simple problem that would therefore require a similar solution, but the situation is complex and will require a deeper discussion among all those affected. The term Redskin, at its inception and by its present-day dictionary definition, is an offensive term used to describe a Native American; something far different than the pride, honor and tradition it signifies throughout the district.
I thoroughly understand this as a staff member at Lancaster High School. As a person of Native and African-American ancestry, I can assure everyone the environment is entirely inclusive and the term in question is used in a positive manner. The district, in my opinion, has more pride in itself than any other in Western New York, with a staff and students who welcome newcomers, embrace differences and push innovation on a social level.
But therein lies the dilemma. How do you reconcile those two opposite passionate positions in an age where compromise is an avenue often not taken? One thing is clear in terms of mindset: This country has not reached a post-racial state. It has failed to reconcile its past and therefore many are ignorant to its effects on many who live in this country. Until that ignorance ceases, no one will ever base or win an argument as if we do live in a post-racial state.
Adrian Fitzgerald Harris