Offensive message caused uproar among American Indians & others across Internet
BELTON, MISSOURI — The American Indian community is still shocked and angered by the racist sign saying, “KC Chiefs” Will Scalp the Redsk*ns Feed Them Whisky Send – 2 – Reservation” put up by an employee at a Sonic Drive-in in Belton, Missouri.
The photo of the message has been shared around the world and promotes negative stereotypes of American Indian people.
Later, another photo surfaced on the Internet of a second sign the employee replaced the first racist sign with, “KC Chiefs” Will Scalp the Redsk*ns Drain the Firewater out of them. This one was also removed after patrons in Belton, Missouri demanded it.
And so, although the tweets were appreciated and other statements made to the press by Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ: SONC) executives of apology, it is the belief of many American Indians the company must do something concrete to show that they do not share the views of their employee (who was not fired) at the Sonic Drive-in in Belton, Missouri.
The American Indian community calls upon both teams (Washington Redsk*ns and the Kansas City Chiefs) featured in the racist sign to denounce the sign (they have not) and to stop using Native people as mascots.
The American Indian community demands the following be done to redress the harm this sign has done and we hope that by doing these things a more positive message will be promoted about American Indian people nationally and internationally and that Native Mascotry (the use of Native people as mascots for sports entertainment purposes) will be discontinued by all teams in our nation, particularly in our nation’s capital (the Washington Redsk*ns):
- Sonic Corporation will put up a sign with an apology and request that the use of Native people as Mascots be ended. This sign can be at just the Sonic Drive-in in Belton, Missouri or at as many franchisees who are willing to and at the corporate offices. It should say: “Sonic recognizes the harm Native Mascotry causes and wish that the Redsk*ns & KC Chiefs refrain from using Native people as Mascots.”
- If Sonic Corporation and not one of the more than 3,500 restaurants across the country will make such a statement, how can Native people patronize them? Even a tribally-owned one: the Sonic Drive-in owned by the Wyandotte tribe in Seneca, Missouri? A lack of action implies agreement with the racist sign or at the very least, an unwillingness to come down on the side of what is right in a public way–as public as the racist signs were.
- We would also like to see Sonic Corporation to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) working with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and purchase ads educating the public about the harmful stereotypes Native Mascotry promotes.
These steps will serve to restore a brand name that has been “trashed” as Sonic Corporation itself has said over Twitter. It will also restore the good relations Sonic Corporation has with all its patrons in the United States and be helpful in redirecting the national conversation about racism and the use of stereotypes in a positive way and hopefully, help bring about the end of the use of Native people as mascots.
American Indians also want to thank the thousands of Americans who have expressed outrage over these signs. The concerns of the Americans of goodwill ensure that the United States can be welcoming to all its citizens including its original ones.
For more information on the harmful affects of the use of Native mascots please see the NCAI website at www.ncai.org
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