My TV Segment & Open Letter to Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder

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Dear Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins…

In case you missed my segment on Alicia Menendez Tonight (which airs weeknights @7pm ET on the new Fusion network) you can watch it here…or tune in tonight @7:30pm ET. If you don’t have Fusion, you can watch the video HERE.

We’re more than half-way through November and for Native Americans like me, that means we’ve made it through Halloween–a holiday that makes Indigenous people groan at Pocahotties and Indian braves costumes. Once we get past the construction paper headdresses that Thanksgiving brings, there’s still just one more issue to tackle on the calendar: Washington’s NFL team, the Redskins.

Are you listening, Dan Snyder? Your Washington NFL team needs a name change.

Countless organizations and news outlets have come out in support of that change and have agreed to stop using your team’s name at all:

  • President Obama
  • Mayor of Washington DC, Vincent Gray
  • The Oneida Indian Nation
  • Sports Illustrated’s site Monday Morning Quarter Back
  • Slate
  • Washington City Paper
  • The Kansas City Star
  • MotherJones
  • New Republic
  • Native American Journalists Association
  • American Indian Movement
  • Washington, D.C. City Council
  • Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.
  • Kat Williams

…just to name a few!

But if TMZ’s got it right, Dan – never going to change the name – Snyder, you may be renaming your team the Washington Bravehearts, you’ve missed the point.

[…more at Fusion.net]

Love it? Hate it? Share it either way: http://fus.in/1h3gEsy  and then hit me up on Twitter @amystretten!

Happy Native American Heritage Month!

-NativeJournalist

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My newest piece for Fusion: Appropriating Native American Imagery Honors No One but the Prejudice

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Artwork courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz of Pocho.com

 

I was a sophomore in high school, about 15 years old, when a rather hostile group of cheerleaders and football players cornered me, yelling, as I sat on a bench in the quad between classes. “Don’t you have school pride?” a cheerleader shouted. “You should feel proud! We’re honoring your people!” one football player hollered.

I was the only Native American (as far as I knew) at Woodbridge High School in Irvine, California. Irvine is a planned city in Southern California and one of the safest cities in the United States, but I didn’t feel safe that day.

I had met one-on-one with the principal, my guidance counsellor, a few teachers and several students to share my negative feelings toward our school’s mascot – an anonymous Native American “warrior” with long, flowing, jet-black hair, a large nose and huge muscles. I guess I thought if I made it known that I felt appropriating Native American imagery was offensive, they’d stop. I was outnumbered, though, and my personal feelings didn’t matter. But that’s the thing: As Native people, especially as urban Natives (what we Indigenous people living in urban centers call ourselves), we are almost always outnumbered. So, we go unnoticed and unheard. Our opinions never really matter.

Students wore goofy, cartoonish costumes of our mascot (and his equally tasteless “warrior princess” girlfriend) at pep rallies and games. The pair would dance and do occasional acrobatic moves, as they made their grand entrance to the deafening sounds of the school’s marching band, playing the quintessential Hollywood fight song that, for me at least, conjures up images of a scene from an old Western movie: “savage” Indians on horseback approaching a village of settlers…Uh-oh, there must be trouble.

…To read more, please visit: http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/ABC_Univision/native-american-imagery-appropriation-redskins-disrespectful/story?id=20286034

Please follow Fusion @ThisisFusion & follow me @AmyStretten

Have you heard about Fusion, the new ABC/Univision joint-venture?

The newsroom/nightclub.
Yes, we really work here.

What is Fusion, you ask?  Well, let me fill you in!

Fusion is a new, 24-hour (multi-platform) news channel aimed at English-speaking Hispanic and Latino Americans and millennials.  Fusion’s mission is to champion a smart, diverse and inclusive America.

I recently (last week) became the East Coast-based National Affairs Correspondent and am responsible for telling the stories of people, events and issues which are shaping America, today and tomorrow. In fact, my first piece on Native fashion at New York Fashion Week went live on the web last week.

I joined Fusion to do exactly what the job description said: Make sense of the news by producing reported stories, opinion columns, and curated posts which provide insight and context to notions of leadership, justice & equality, culture, modern life, and the American Dream as present in stories about politics, social mobility, race, identity and multiculturalism.

From technology, food, media, pop culture and celebrity to immigration and entrepreneurship, I cover what matters to Latinos and millennials. And, once we launch our TV programming (October 28th), I will provide live, on-air commentaries, sometimes at a moment’s notice.

Until the end of October, you can find out stories at http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/ and via our Twitter feed: @ThisisFusion.

I tweet daily, so if you use Twitter, please follow me @AmyStretten.  I would love to stay connected with you!

If you read this blog post, shout me out!  Or, re-tweet the post!

 

And, as my Mom says, go on and BE a great day!

 

-NativeJournalist (Amy Stretten)

 

@thisisFUSION

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