‘Redskins’ advocates fighting wrong battle
I am a resident of the Town of Lancaster and a parent of children in the school district. I am frustrated with recent demonstrations in support of the “Redskins” nickname. It’s time for residents upset over the change to move on.
Ironically, the district is indeed under attack. Like every other public school across the state, Lancaster is facing challenges from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget. He has proposed evaluations that hurt teachers, the loss of local control for some districts and holding much-needed state aid hostage, among other “reforms.” All of these measures hurt students, teachers and our schools.
The state budget battle may end soon. The recent protests over the mascot are a distraction from efforts to protect schools. Leaving aside the fact that the name is offensive to some of our neighboring communities and preserves outdated social practices where it was acceptable to describe people by skin color, the protests in favor of the retired mascot, at perhaps the moment when our schools need our help the most against real threats from Albany, actually weaken our schools by changing focus from the real problem.
We should be protesting. But we should be doing it for a goal that unites and supports our community, not for a goal that weakens and divides us.
John M. Lichtenthal