2000 - California DMV Cancellation of "Redskin" License Plate
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language. He spent his early childhood in Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA'') schools on a reservation in Eastern Oklahoma. In the late 1960's, Mr. Herrod came to California through a BIA Relocation Program.
Mr. Herrod compellingly conveys that he is very familiar with the term "redskin." Since his very early childhood, he has known the term to be a derogatory appellation for Native Americans. Mr. Herrod has viewed the terms "buck," "prairie nigger," and "redskin" to have the same negative, mean and ill-spirited connotation.
Mr. Herrod conveys that the term "redskin" is not used in general usage. The term is never used in academic circle. Nor is the word "redskin" used properly or colloquially to address or to refer to Native Americans. The only current use of the term is to insult a Native American or its use in the media is to refer to the NFL professional football team located in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Herrod represents that any variation of the spelling of the term whether it appears as "rdskin ... .. redskns" or "redsknz" is offensive.
Mr. Herrod pointedly expresses that a particular harm flows from the appearance of the "redskins" term on Department issued license plates that appear on public roadways. Such displays of the offensive term negatively impact upon the psyche of children, especially Native Americans. A goal of current Indian leaders is to assure equal access to educational opportunities to Native American children. Hence, the continued trivialization of Indian culture by the use of professional and college sports team of Indian oriented names and symbols as mascots or team names adversely impact such educational objectives.
Mr. Herrod conveys that it is difficult for him to respond to the continued ignorance of majority culture sports teams using Native American names, icons and symbols. Mr. Herrod explains that the frustration he and other Indians experience is intensified by the display of such terms as "redskins" on the Department's issued vehicle license plates, which give the appearance of the imprimatur of the State of California's broadcast of offensive terms.
9. The evidence offered through Mr. Herrod is persuasive, compelling and credible. Additionally, complainant offers declarations from other persons under Government Code section 11513, subd.(d) so as to supplement and explain evidence provided by Mr. Herrod.
Paula Starr in her declaration, dated February 9, 2000, states that she is an enrolled member in the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. She provides that as a community worker, mother, grandmother and American Indian, the term "redskin" has a negative and offensive -connotation that undermines the self-esteem, dignity and respect of