In response to the “Chief” sign, Durango Peace and Justice states, “In times like these, there is no excuse for the continued presence of dehumanizing stereotypes (nor was there ever). We demand the sign’s removal immediately.”
This is the perfect time for a productive dialogue about racism and the perceived meanings of the “Chief.” Before a dialogue can be productive, however, both sides need to get their facts in order.
The Herald article about the history of the Clark family with Native artisans over the past nine decades supports the idea of respect for Native artisans and helps to keep their culture alive.
It appears Durango Peace and Justice’s perception of the “Chief” sign is about dehumanizing stereotypes in a very broad sense, followed by a demand.
Should Big Boy restaurants take down their iconic signs of a fat Anglo kid (another dehumanizing stereotype)?
Should the fate of the “Chief” be decided by the perception of the local tribes?
Let’s keep the dialogue productive, peaceful and ongoing.
Dennis E O’BrienDurangoEditor’s note: On July 6, the Big Boy restaurant chain announced it was retiring its Big Boy mascot for the time being, and introducing “Dolly.”