By Mac Warner
WV Secretary of State
The following is a response to a commentary published by The Charleston Gazette-Mail: (https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/op_ed_commentaries/elliot-namay-hurricane-sports-need-mascot-change-opinion/article_286fbab0-8f79-5a14-b844-be1e0f4c5fb2.html)
In response to a recent op-ed advocating for the “canceling” of the moniker “Redskins” used by Hurricane High, as a 23-year veteran of the United States Army, I felt it important to present the facts and statistics as to why such rhetoric to cancel Native Americans from history is not only racist, but dangerous.
The term “Redskins” is a reference to the elite Indian warriors who would paint themselves in red paint in preparation for death prior to going into battle. The truthfulness of this fact won out in State and Federal Court when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the term “Redskins” is not a derogatory term.
The students, alumni and Hurricane community identify with their mascot and what it represents – Indian warriors who were prepared to fight to the death to protect their families and communities. Honoring that Indian heritage and the Native American’s important role in our nation and our communities should be celebrated, not canceled.
In fact, a 2016 Washington Post poll even shows that 90% of Native Americans do not find the term offensive. Even now, Native American participation in the military remains at 19% versus an average of 14% of all other ethnicities since 9/11. The Navajo Code Talkers played a critical role in winning World War II.
The recent opinion article by Elliott Namay perfectly illustrates the radical left’s agenda to cancel any culture or entity that does not agree with them or that they are threatened by. Imagine a conservative making such remarks about another race, ethnicity or culture to be canceled. This is racism at its core definition.
Mr. Namay’s words are not just derogatory, they are disrespectful to veterans and those serving our nation – specifically Native Americans. Native Americans are proud of their contributions to our great nation and West Virginia has deeply rooted Native American history of which we should all be proud. West Virginia has more veterans per capita than any other state, including the late National Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams.
You can’t cancel history and we must defend all who fight for and protect our freedoms from the target of cancel culture. While they are busy burning down America, we will continue to defend Her at all costs.
Montani Semper Liberi.