RTSD Refuses to Change Mascot Until They Have Unanimous Support from Wealthy Caucasian Main Line Citizens

RTSD Refuses to Change Mascot Until They Have Unanimous Support from Wealthy Caucasian Main Line Citizens

Andrew Rosin, The Radish Editor

Acknowledging the recent movement to change Radnor’s mascot, Radnor Township School District countered that the lack of outcry from the privileged white inhabitants of Radnor precluded the abolition of the Raider. “While we kind of value the opinions of Radnor’s indigenous community, we cannot move forward with this project until we have the unconditional support of those who hold this stereotypical caricature dear to their hearts,” explained Township officials on Monday. Many supporters of the Raider united to protest the campaign, citing their admiration of Native American culture and its right to be appropriated by white communities. “We have communicated with those who want to eliminate the Raider,” a pro-Raider student activist wrote, “and we have decided to speak on behalf of all Native Americans in future mascot negotiations.” 

The mascot debate is not the first time that Radnor High School students have challenged reform. In March of 2020, there was significant backlash when the school maintenance staff removed a locker engraved with racial slurs that was said to date back to the 1970s. “We can’t just throw away part of our history, part of our community,” one student exclaimed, “this is the height of white fragility, that the school can get rid of this locker simply because some colorful commentary is written on it or whatever.” Other students agreed that these offensive inscriptions “never failed to hype up the class for a game of handball.”

Similarly, several football players recently expressed their objections to eliminating the logo that has long graced their uniforms. “Every football game, I take a moment to salute the beautiful Pocahontas drawing and remember the brave Native Americans who endured a forced and cruel removal from their land for us to be able to toss the pigskin. I commit to playing each game with the perseverance of the Native American’s walking the Trail of Tears,” one Radnor football player commented. An RHS football alum added that he knew Radnor was making the Native Americans proud every time Radnor “lost a game, got back out there, and then lost the following game.” “In fact,” he remarked, “I can’t think of a better metaphor for the history of the Native Americans following the arrival of European colonists.” 

A couple thousand miles west of Radnor, the Cherokee Nation is engaged in a similar struggle to remove Uncle Sam from the position of the tribe’s official mascot. While some Cherokee consider the mascot an homage to old white men, the Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chuck Hoskin Jr. is not convinced: “In all honesty, it’s offensive to depict Caucasian Americans with rosy cheeks, a nauseating goatee, sheep-like hair, and a silly top hat,” Hoskin wrote in a letter last week. Hoskin reasoned that it’s unfair to subconsciously characterize all white people as barbaric imperialists. Establishing precedent, the Navajo Nation recently changed their mascot from the Navajo Hillbillies, which they decided portrays white people as “uneducated bigots.”

Outnumbering indigenous peoples at a ratio of approximately 15,000 to 1, a certain demographic of Radnor’s Caucasian citizens have courageously humiliated themselves as they push back against Radnor’s logo change. Their efforts, however, did not go unnoticed: “We have to remember that for many white people, the Raider is the last remaining symbol that affirms Caucausians’ ability to subjugate and neglect other cultures,” Township leaders lamented. “It is our fundamental belief in Radnor that inclusion always triumphs over discrimination, and until we can convert those who still can’t comprehend why the Raider is offensive, it will remain our school’s mascot.”