Readers weigh in about the Mohigan.
Cancel culture; censorship; the PC Police. That’s what supporters of the Mohigan think of the latest movement to change Morgantown High School’s mascot. Seventy-five percent of the more than 500 respondents to our Morgantown Lowdown poll last week like MHS’s long tradition with the Mohigan and feel it should be left alone.
Tradition is the reason Mandi Hall DeSantis, a 1995 graduate of MHS, created the widely circulated petition “Keep ‘Mohigans’ as the Mascot for MHS.” In the petition, now with more than 4,600 signatures, DeSantis writes, “People are trying to take our history and pride from the students and alumni of Morgantown High School and remove our beloved Mohigan.”
But it’s history and pride that 25 percent of our survey respondents think the mascot is trampling.
“While there is a contention by some that using such mascots ‘honors’ Native Americans, for decades, organizations and tribes have publicly stated the practice unintentionally dishonors and is harmful,” says Bonnie Brown, the coordinator of the Native American Studies Program at WVU.
This isn’t the first time MHS students have moved to change their mascot. In fact, less than a year ago, advocates for change circulated a petition they called “Change the MHS Mascot to the Morgantown Mothmen.” The current petition to change the mascot lags behind DeSantis’ by 1,000 signatures.
With the national mood trending against stereotyped mascots, petitions like these surely won’t be the last. But for this go-round, Lowdown readers have made their sentiments clear: Don’t ruffle their feathers.
posted on August 5, 2020
photographed by Jordan Carter