Friday, January 11, 2019

Adelle Belanger On The Racist Backlash After Skowhegan Mascot Public Forum

Screenshot from Somerset Community TV 11 video of Jan. 8 forum

With permission from the author, today I share Adelle Belanger's report back on the racist backlash she experienced and witnessed following her testimony at the January 8 public forum on the Skowhegan Area High School "Indian" mascot. Belanger is a senior at SAHS.

Full video of the forum, including her remarks which begin at the 8:52 mark, may be seen here on YouTube. Thanks to Somerset Community television 11 for their coverage.


Today, my Indigenous classmate was called a c*nt for sharing her opinion on HER school's mascot.
Today, I read racist comments first hand, and called out people who insisted that I was a liberal troll.
Today, I saw white people claim to be Native to say they are not offended by the mascot.
Today, I saw people commenting that my friend who is a reporter should jump in a lake for reporting accurately on the public forum about the mascot.
Today, I saw people claim that two Natives I look up to and respect were ignorant pot stirrers and that they were the real racists.
Today, I saw some of the meanest comments I've ever seen. And trust me, I've seen some mean ones.
Today, I heard people say that all four of Maine's federally recognized tribes were oversensitive crybabies who had nothing better to focus on. All four of them.
Today, I gave people evidence they ignored.
Today, I explained myself over and over, just because I know it's the right thing to do, even if it will not change any minds.
Today, I saw people say that they didn't care how Natives feel about the mascot.
Today, I was so drained. I can not imagine what it must be like for people who can not get away from this. I have the option not to post. I have the option not to engage. The mascot affects my life very little. I am so saddened to think of the people who can't escape this. The Natives who have to explain themselves over and over. The people who get ridiculed for defending themselves and their culture.
For my friends that are still on the fence, I ask you to look at the type of people who are unwilling to change. If you don't support change, you are not honoring Native Americans.
Look at your heroes. What side would they be on? Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, the likes. Who would they support?
-- Adelle Belanger, class of 2019, Skowhegan Area High School
originally posted January 9, 2018

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Adelle— and Lisa...& many others!

Eileen said...

I'm really delighted to hear from this brave young woman! A true leader! We always know in our hearts when we stand on the right side of humanity. It's never on the side of name-calling, never on the side of continuing pain or looking the other way and doing nothing. It's always on the side of helping those who want a place at the table. Thank you!!!

Julianne said...

It gives me hope that there are young people like you who can see and speak the truth in spite of the ugliness coming your way. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am grateful for your courage and sensitivity.

Donna Fann-Boyle said...

Skowhegan could be facing a human rights complaint for not protecting students as is happening here in Neshaminy school district.

Ed Rice said...

Thank you, Adelle, for your strength and your courage. The winds of change on this issue swept throughout the state of Maine on this issue... except, sadly, in Skowhegan. BUT change is coming.

Carol Maltby said...

A race-based sports mascot gives institutional approval of racism and racial stereotypes, and is a failure of a school's educational mission. May the students who understand this continue to have the strength and courage to withstand the ugly responses coming their way from those stuck in the past. May truth and clarity prevail, and the winds of change blow through this district.

Unknown said...

Adelle, You give me hope for the future. I am Native but can get by on the street as white because of my coloring. I am not free from the anger, disappointment and frustration with the people who support these horrible mascots. I am so proud of you and the points you made so eloquently. Mvto! (Thank you in Muscogee)

Anonymous said...

Having read this I believed it was really informative.
I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative article together.
I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting.
But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Anonymous said...

I all the time used to study article in news papers but now as I am
a user of internet therefore from now I am using net for articles, thanks to
web.

Anonymous said...

This site really has all the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn't know who to
ask.

Anonymous said...

Hmm it looks like your site ate my first
comment (it was super long) so I guess I'll just sum it
up what I had written and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog.
I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I'm still new to everything.
Do you have any points for beginner blog writers? I'd genuinely appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work
you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.

At all times go after your heart.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know
how to make your site mobile friendly? My web
site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4.
I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able
to correct this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

That is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
Brief but very accurate info... Appreciate your sharing this one.
A must read post!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!
Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
Keep up the superb work!

Anonymous said...

Some genuinely tremendous work on behalf of the owner of this site, absolutely outstanding subject matter.

Anonymous said...

You made some decent points there. I looked on the web for more
info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

Anonymous said...

You have noted very interesting points! ps decent
internet site.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of
any forums that cover the same topics talked about here?

I'd really love to be a part of community where I can get
opinions from other experienced people that share the same
interest. If you have any recommendations, please let
me know. Appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Some genuinely interesting points you have written.Aided me a lot, just what
I was searching for :D.

Anonymous said...

I am not positive where you're getting your info, but great
topic. I must spend a while finding out more or working out more.
Thanks for magnificent information I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

Anonymous said...

I think this website holds some rattling great info for everyone :D.

Anonymous said...

Spott on with this write-up,I actually believe that this amazing
site needs a great deal more attention.I?ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks
for the information!

Anonymous said...

Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

Anonymous said...

Some genuinely quality content on this site,
saved to bookmarks.

Anonymous said...

Very good post. I am facing many of these issues as well..

Anonymous said...

Aw, this wwas a very nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to
create a good article... but what can I say...
I put things off a whole lot and don't manage to get
anything done.

Anonymous said...

My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post's to
be exactly I'm looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content available for you?
I wouldn't mind publishing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects
you write in relation to here. Again, awesome website!

Anonymous said...

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would truly benefit from some of the information you provide
here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Whoah this blog is wonderful i love studying your articles.
Keep up the good work! You understand, lots of persons are searching around for this information, you could
help them greatly.

Lisa Savage said...

My blog is public and you should feel free to quote (accurately, with attribution) from it or link to it. Thanks for your interest.

Anonymous said...

Great article. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finally talking about >"Adelle Belanger On The Racist Backlash After Skowhegan Mascot Public Forum" <Loved it!

Anonymous said...

Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

It will always be useful to read articles from other writers and use
a little something from their web sites.

Anonymous said...

When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails
with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?

Thanks a lot!

Lisa Savage said...

Sorry you are having this experience. I don't know how to turn off notifications you requested, and you posted as Anonymous so I wouldn't be able to identify which of my many Anonymous commenters wants their notifications turned off. Your best best is probably to use your email settings to either block email from Blogger or automatically send them to Trash.

Anonymous said...

It's enormous that you are getting thoughts from this post as well
as from our discussion made at this place.

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing, great job!

Anonymous said...

It?s hard to find educated people for this subject, however,
you sound like you know what you?re talking about!
Thanks