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Billboard protesting use of ‘Redskins’ as mascot posted near Paw Paw

PAW PAW, Mich. - A Native Americans rights group has put up a billboard along I-94, drawing attention to the name of the Paw Paw High School mascot.

The use of "Redskins" as the mascot of Paw Paw High has been debated over the last couple of years. The Paw Paw school board voted 4-3 to retain the mascot in February 2017.

The billboard was posted by the Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports & Media and is 1/2 mile west of the Paw Paw exit on the north side. The billboard is gives the dictionary definition of the word "redskin".

“It’s a dictionary definition," said Linda Cypret-Kilbourne, from the Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media. "It’s plain and simple and it’s to educate people that we need to start making more awareness about what’s going on and that’s the main purpose.


Linda Cypret-Kilbourne has been a part of the controversy since the beginning. She's an active member of the Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media who’s spoken out at many school board meetings and events the past few years.

“To use to term 'Redskin' is the most derogatory, belittling thing you could do," said Cypret-Kilbourne. "I can’t even begin to explain how it makes me feel. It just makes me sick to my stomach.”

The group names five Michigan high schools still using "Redskins" as their mascot, including Paw Paw and Saranac.

We'll have more from Paw Paw on later editions of FOX 17 News.

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  • C

    Tell everybody that the school’s mascot is a potato or peanut and tell the “offended” parties to go to hell. Political correctness is a sickness caused by liberals, and it’s a slap in the face of practical thinkers.

    • Mark

      Right, because using racist and demeaning terms toward an entire race of people as a mascot just screams land of the free and home of the brave… C is definitely have a Trump/GOP supporter. You can always tell by the way they embrace racism and call progressive thinkers liberals.

      • C

        Even if I wanted to try to respond to your comment, it’d be a waste of time. Like most liberals these days, your reasoning may be a mile wide but only about an inch deep.

      • Kevin Rahe

        So Notre Dame is down on Irish people? And MSU wants you to pity Spartans rather than fear them? I’m not sure you understand the motivation behind choosing a mascot for a sports team.

        • markusmcnugen

          If Irish or Spartan were derogatory terms maybe that argument would work. That’s called the strawman fallacy. Redskins is a racist laden word referring to Native Americans just like how another word we know refers to black people.

          Its not about the mascot, its about the name.

          • Kevin Rahe

            I guess I hadn’t thought of the name as derogatory or racist until you suggested it is. To me it’s never meant anything different than calling a team Indians or Warriors or Spartans. If you can get enough people to think of it as racist then you might succeed in getting it changed.

          • Shabadoo Simmons

            It’s historically been a racially denigrating term. simply because your ignorant of its history doesn’t excuse its use.

        • Brian

          The US government never conducted genocide against the Irish or Spartans. Perhaps the motivation behind choosing a mascot for a sports team needs to change.

    • markusmcnugen

      Clearly the people who its racist against are the ones are the ones who think of it in those terms…

      “The Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media is a group founded by Native Americans and supported by anti-racism allies.”

        • markusmcnugen

          Cultural acceptance of the word is still racism… would you think the same thing if it was the Paw Paw N****rs or Paw Paw G**ks. Its not any less offensive its a mascot for a pro team that has been lobbied numerous times by native americans to change their own name for the same reasons.

          Note: Yes I’m censoring myself for a public forum.

          • Kevin Rahe

            Accepting the word is not inherently a racist act if it carries no more meaning for you than names like Indians or Chiefs. I would certainly never put Redskins in the same category as the names for other races you alluded to. Can you name a movie or something else from popular culture where “redskin” was used in a derogatory manner?

          • markusmcnugen

            @Kevin Rage

            Its derogatory in exactly the same manner. Chiefs is a much better term, but just Natives would be best. My brother is marrying a native american and she feels strongly about this just as the Native American group that put up the billboard does. Just because there aren’t as many native americans as there are african americans doesn’t mean the use of the word is justified. Nor should it have to be used in pop culture to be justified as inherently racist. Look up the history behind the word.


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