Diner hosts ‘Cowboys and Indians’ party as schools await mascot decision

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The Country Gals Café hosts a monthly costume party. In April, the theme was “The 80s”, according to their Facebook page. But the theme and timing of it has plaintiffs who filed the original lawsuit against the mascot saying it proves their point.

“Interesting, considering the mascot issue and how people swear it’s ‘respect,'” plaintiff Alex Dery Snider said.

A person who answered the phone at the cafe briefly said the party had nothing to do with the mascot fight. The person asked the Times Union to call back with further questions, but no one could be reached on Tuesday.

Those who want to keep the school mascot, an image of an Aboriginal person called “the Indian”, argued that it is an important way to respect the roots of the community and to remember the Native people who once lived in the area.

Those on the other side said the desire to keep the mascot is a symptom of racism and encourages people to remember indigenous people only as a stereotype from long ago, not as real people.


The dinner party includes menu items including “Custer’s Last Vegetarian Lasagna” and “The Crazy Horse Chili Chuck Wagon”, as well as sandwiches named for Pocahontas, who was captured by English settlers in Jamestown, and Sacagawea , who helped lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Colonel George Custer led an attack on a sleepy Cheyenne village, which legally lived on a reservation, as required by the United States government. His troops massacred unarmed women and children.

Years later, the United States invaded the Lakota reservation in the Black Hills after gold was discovered on the land.

Cheyenne and Lakota, along with Chief Crazy Horse, killed Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Custer attacked them, not realizing he was vastly outnumbered.

The dinner party is Saturday. The state Supreme Court’s decision is expected in mid-May and could be announced on May 16, according to attorneys arguing the case.

The school district argued that it’s not fair for students to lose their mascot when many other schools in the area have similar names, but with less obvious imagery. Observers said they expected the controversy to compel the state to act.

The school district is appealing an order from the state Department of Education that requires the district to get rid of its mascot. In a ruling issued last year, Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said the school’s controversial badge and mascot must be retired by July 1.

A state Supreme Court judge said she will expedite appeals so that a decision on the legality of Rosa’s order can be made by mid-May.

The state legislature has drafted three bills related to the situation. One, which would prohibit public schools from using an Indigenous name, logo or mascot unless the school is run by a Native American tribe, has been amended several times this session and is still up to date. the study. This bill would allow schools to use current uniforms and other materials until 2024. It is unclear whether the bill will pass in the month remaining in this session.

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