By Carol Spindel
Sports fanatics like to don paint and feathers to cheer at the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves, the Florida country Seminoles, and the soldiers and Chiefs in their fatherland excessive colleges. yet outdoor the stadiums, American Indians will not be cheering--they're yelling racism.
School forums and schools are bombarded with emotional calls for from each side, whereas specialist groups locate themselves in court docket protecting the correct to trademark their Indian names and emblems. within the face of competition via a countrywide anti-mascot circulation, why are fanatics so decided to continue the fictitious chiefs who plant flaming spears and dance at the fifty-yard line?
To solution this query, Dancing at Halftime takes the reader on a trip in the course of the American mind's eye the place our brooding about American Indians has been, and remains to be being, formed. Dancing at Halftime is the tale of Carol Spindel's selection to appreciate why her followed city is so passionately connected to leader Illiniwek, the yank Indian mascot of the collage of Illinois. She rummages via our nationwide attic, keeping dusty souvenirs from world's gala's and wild west indicates, Edward Curtis pictures, Boy Scout handbooks, and pale soccer courses as much as the sunshine. outdoor stadiums, whereas American Indian flow protestors burn effigies, she listens to either activists and the lovers who resent their assaults. inside of listening to rooms and excessive colleges, she poses inquiries to linguists, attorneys, and collage alumni.
A paintings of either persuasion and compassion, Dancing at Halftime reminds us that during the US, the place Pontiac is a vehicle and Tecumseh a summer season camp, Indians are frequently our symbolic servants, functioning as mascots and metaphors that categorical our longings to turn into "native" americans, and to suppose at domestic in our personal land.