WILX: ‘Big Reds’ no more - Sexton High School selects new mascot, name to Scorpions

UC PhD student Anthony Stone cited as expert on Native American cultural appropriation

Lansing, Michigan’s JW Sexton High School had gone by the mascot name the “Big Reds” for almost 80 years, but a recent decision by the school board has changed the mascots name to the Scorpions.

“I’ve spoken with Native Americans who actually live in this community, who find Native American mascots to be deeply offensive,” said Anthony Stone, a University of Cincinnati PhD student in the Department of Sociology.  

“Those mascots really shape how people think about them and make them invisible,” says Stone, who studies race and ethnicity.

Native Americans tell Stone, he says, that these mascots are not representative of them or their lifestyle. In fact, he says, the mascots perpetuate hurtful stereotypes about who Native Americans really are.

Stone holds a master of arts degree in sociology from The University of Memphis and a bachelor of arts degree from Michigan State University in political science, pre-law, where he focused his studies on race relations, history, and communications. As a sociologist, his research focuses on Black studies, American Indian Studies, race, racial representations in the media, social psychology and identity formation, and racial rhetoric to name a few. In his dissertation, he examines how Black men (re)negotiate race, masculinity, and personhood with respect to the (Black) cinematic characters they consume.

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