North Bay News

Vallejo High School 'Apaches' mascot comes under fire

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Long ago, William Shakespeare posed a philosophical question in poetic form, "What's in a name?"

In Vallejo, it would appear to be quite a lot as a battle takes shape between tradition and political correctness. It revolves around Vallejo High School's mascot that many people feel needs to go

Last week's victory in the Mayor's Cup may be the final one for Vallejo's football Apaches, or Apaches of any kind if the American Indian Movement gets its way.

"It has to do with human rights. It has to do with civil rights," said activist Antonio Gonzalez of the American Indian Movement.

Gonzalez has been wrenching up the pressure, along with the NAACP.

"We can't underplay the fact that this is an existing culture. They have told you it offends them. And we need to take note of that," said Kathi Hill with the NAACP.

Which is why, next Wednesday, Vallejo's school board will consider changing the name of a mascot that has represented the school for more than 100 years.

Students and former students are angry and disappointed.

"I don't think they should change the name. This Apaches, everybody known like, it's Vallejo. We're known as Apaches," said former student Jennifer Marcos.

"I don't believe it's offensive at all. I mean, I actually think we are honoring Apaches," said student Jorge Rodriguez.

"To the young people, I would say that they're not aware of the broader ramifications," said Gonzalez.

It's a battle raging in different flavors across the nation. In Southern California, the American Anti-Arab Discrimination Committee took issue with Coachella Valley High School for its revered Arab mascot.

In our nation's capital, the Washington Redskins football team has been under pressure to change its team's name. As have the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Braves. What used to be okay, isn't anymore, say the critics.

"And, it used to be we had to ride in the back of the bus. Was it right then? Is it right now? No," said Hill.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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vallejo, NAACP, north bay news, wayne freedman
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